tv U.S. Senate CSPAN October 12, 2011 12:00pm-5:00pm EDT
find them, why would they say let's not even put it on the floor for discussion? i mean, the rules of this place are peculiar, obviously. but why would you say i'm not even willing to bring it up for a vote, i'm not even willing to debate it, i'm not even willing to set the stage so we can discuss it? people don't want to hear about process. i understand that. but people do want us to do something about jobs and the first step is you bring a bill forward, you come up with something. last night as you recall, senator levin, we voted right before the jobs bill, we voted huge bipartisan vote, 63 votes on china currency to do what i know you've advocated for years, we have a level playing field on -- in our dealings with china so so many chinese companies don't get an advantage selling here and so many michigan and ohio companies don't get a disadvantage when -- a tariff, currency tax, tariff, if you will, when our companies in michigan and ohio try to sell into china.
so i guess i'm curious, your thoughts on why we wouldn't even set ourselves up that -- why the republicans wouldn't to at least come together and say let's debate it. maybe we can make some interesting amendments we can come together on like we came together bipartisanly just 24 hours ago, less than that, fewer than 24 hours ago to come up with a real jobs bill. mr. levin: i wish there were an explanation which were satisfactory, frankly or an answer which were satisfy to senator brown's question. -- satisfactory to senator brown's question. i'm afraid the only answer i can come up with is because this started off as an obama jobs bill, it's been changed, we now have a different source of funding for it, we have a millionaires' surcharge which will fund for these critically programs, job creation programs. i can't think of any other
reason other than they think it will simply go away. what's an explanation? maybe it was the unanimous consent request of the republican leader last night. i ask unanimous consent that this bill not be amendable, no amendments would be in order under his unanimous consent proposal, and then when it doesn't get 60 votes which he knew it wouldn't get, it be immediately returned to the calendar. that's what he asked twice last night. immediately returned to the calendar. the republican leader wants this bill to go away. it can't go away, it shouldn't go away, it will not go away. the majority leader has already said that he is going to move to reconsider that vote last night and i expressed the hope in my remarks that the president use his bully pulpit not just to support the jobs bill which is critically important, he's doing a good job as he goes
around the country but to make it clear where the obstruction is, that the republicans will not allow us to consider a jobs bill. amend fit they want to try. substitute their own if they have one which so far they don't. but let us debate this bill. and i hope that the bully pulpit of the president is used not just to support a jobs bill which is so critically important, but to point out where the obstruction is. and i'd be happy to yield to the senator from rhode island. the presiding officer: the senator from rhode island. mr. reed: i want to join senator levin in his plea. the greatest crisis today in the united states for families all across the country is jobs. and frankly, the president has proposed a bill that is going to help us begin to deal with that job crisis, and he's proposed for a way to pay for it which overwhelming portion of the country and the polling is
definitely, supports the president's proposal and our proposal as modified by senator reid to have a surcharge on individuals making over a million dollars. and so we have a bill that responds to the greatest need, paid for by doing what the american people overwhelmingly want to do and we can't get it on the floor for debate, for amendments, and finally for passage. we are not responding. and we have been frustrated by our colleagues who refuse to let us to take up the bill. i think what the american people, the message that's being sent far and wide in many different mediums, but frankly, when you go home you get it directly, is do something. it might not be perfect, it might not solve the problem immediately, but do something. don't just stop debate, stop progress, stop discussion on the issues that are so critical
to this country. and again, we are in a serious jobs crisis. we've seen the last job numbers showing some sort of improvement but not enough. and we have to do more. and if we don't do this, then we are going to be in a situation where -- and this is one of the great ironies, the deficit will get worse, not better. one of the most direct ways to begin to deal with the deficit is to put people to work. so that they can resume their participation in the economic life of this country and contribute not only to their own well-being and that of the family but the growth of the country, the robustness of our economy and in that way we'll begin to deal in part with the deficit. so this doesn't even serve the end of deficit reduction. again, i want to emphasize, i know my colleagues are here, we have a bill that has measures in
it that are proven, that have been bipartisan -- have had bipartisan support in the past, which will put people to work, that is fully paid for by a tax that overwhelmingly supported by the american people. and if we don't act, not only do we see people lose their jobs and not get jobs, but it will actually hurt in terms of deficit reduction. with that, by yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senator from illinois. mr. durbin: i thank the senator from michigan for bringing us together and making the point as clearly as we can make it that last night we had a chance to launch maybe the most important single issue in debate that we can consider in the senate. we had a chance to bring both parties to the floor of the united states senate and ask for the best ideas each of us has to move the economy forward. the president has a plan. i think it's a good one. i support the plan. and i think that it's a reasonable way to move this economy forward and put people to work.
but it is the nature of the legislative process that some will discombree gree with one aspect of it, some with others and members may have their own ideas to bring to the floor. that is what this branch of government is all about. that we have this debate, an open debate, democrats and republicans on the floor and at the end of the day vote on something to move forward with together. but last night not one single republican senator would join us in an effort to bring this matter to a debate on the floor. in fact as the senator from michigan has made over and over again, the point that the republican filibuster requiring 60 votes to break the filibuster is really stopping the majority from acting in the united states senate on the issue of creating jobs. a republican filibuster. and that is problematic, it's troublesome, it's frustrating because i'm sure in michigan where you have been wracked for years now with unemployment and
businesses struggling, we have similar problems in illinois, 14 million americans unemployed across the board, you take a look at what the senator from kentucky comes and tells us every day as republican leader, he tells us that one of the big problems with this bill as he sees it is that it's paid for. i doesn't like the fact that -- he doesn't like the fact that president obama has paid for it, certainly doesn't like the way he paid for it and the way he paid for it is to impose a surtax on people making more than one million dollars a year of 5.6%. that generates enough revenue over a ten-year period of time that we can give a payroll tax cut to working families across america and we can provide tax incentives for businesses to hire unemployed veterans and people who have been out of work for a long time. the money generated from that millionaires' tax is going to
end up allowing us to save in my state 14,000 teacher, firefighter, and policemen jobs that otherwise would be lost. it will allow us to put money into modernizing our schools which we need to do in illinois and across the country in minnesota, michigan, in montana, and every state, and to build the basic infrastructure that america needs to be successful. senator mcconnell has said over and over again he will not agree to this tax hike. let's look at what middle-income americans are paying as an effective federal tax rate as opposed to the wealthiest in america. the point made over and over by president obama and a point worth repeating today. middle-class families in america, people making between $50,000 and $75,000 a year have an effective federal tax rate of 14.9%. the wealthiest 1%, those making over a million dollars a year,
their effective federal tax rate, 12%. 14.9% for working families, 12% for the wealthiest. what's wrong with this picture? what's wrong with it is that working families across america struggle paycheck to paycheck. and they are paying a higher federal tax rate than the wealthiest people in america. i think everyone in america has to sacrifice. now, i know some of the most vulnerable in america can't physically, mentally, they cannot rise to this challenge but the rest of us for goodness' sakes have to be prepared to sacrifice. working families are already sacrificing. living paycheck to paycheck. to ask the wealthiest people in america who are comfortable in this country because of the greatness of our economy, this open and transparent system, this rule of law that we have to ask them to pay a little more so that america can move forward is not unreasonable. and i would say this: at the end
of the day when the economy picks up and moves forward, and it will, the folks in the highest income categories are going to do quite well then as equally well. it's just the bottom line here. they're going to do well. the ones i've run into, the ones i've talked to, fortunate enough to be in that category, i know a few of them say this isn't unreasonable, senator. why do the republicans oppose 1 dollar in additional taxes to get the economy going forward? this is why not a single one of the republicans would support bringing this jobs bill from the president to the floor. did second reason is fairly obvious. it's the president's plan. and for many of them they're in full campaign mode now. they don't want to give this president anything that looks like a victory. so they're going to vote for anything that has his name on it. in fact they will oppose things which historically they have supported. when president bush came forward with his own stimulus plan to create jobs, supported by the republicans, it had a payroll
tax cut in it, senator. a payroll tax cut for working families. it also had breaks for businesses to hire the unemployed. that's what president obama proposes and now the republicans have said, oh, we liked it as a bush plan, we don't like it as an obama plan. what's the difference? the name. i don't think the american people are going to cut us any slack if they believe that we're spending more time designing bumper stickers for next year's election than we are in designing an economy that moves this country forward. i think they expect us, they demand you of us that we respond to this and when the republicans impose a filibuster on president obama's jobs act, it's just wrong. let us have as senator reid asked for last night, let us have the motion to proceed, let's get on this matter and let's do it this week. i want to say a word as well, senator mcconnell comes to the floor frenl and says whoa, there's a big jobs bill coming up, the trade agreements. listen, trade agreements can expand opportunity for the sale of goods and services. that's a fact.
but when you look at the scheme of things and look at these trade agreements, the proposal i've read says the south korean trade agreement would expand u.s. exports by $10 billion to $11 billion and support 77,000 jobs. that's a loft money and a lot of jobs except when you look at the universe. $10 billion to $11 billion in additional exports to korea at a time when we have a $15 trillion economy. good, but not good enough. we need to make sure we're expanding jobs at a greater rate to get people back to work. the other two trade agreements are much smaller in comparison. so to argue that these trade agreements are the engine that will pull us out of the ditch and drive the economy forward is to completely overstate the positive impact which they might have. so i would say to my friends on the republican side don't believe that voting for a trade agreement that generates $10 billion more in exports and 70,000 jobs will solve the
problems we face in america. yesterday i went to place called career tech in chicago. funded by the federal government, an effort to take people that have been out of work for a long time and get them back in the work force. they're introducing workers who had successful careers at businesses that closed to a new world, the world of social media, the world of information technology. and they're learning and with that new education and training they're getting new jobs. and i asked them about what life was like unemployed and some of them have been out of work for over two years. i said to them, you know, the president wants to extend unemployment benefits for those out of work. a loft folks on the other side of the aisle are saying we already tried that. we're not going to try that again. i said what would have happened to your family without unemployment benefits? to a person, they said i'm not sure if we could have survived. and basically making the mortgage payment, paying the utility bills, putting food on the table, the basics. so if republicans are opposed to
unemployment benefits for those who can't find a job no national how hard they try, unfortunately that's going to have a devastating impact on working families across america. and just for a footnote here, i asked each one of them what happened to your health insurance when you lost your job? they lost their health insurance. think about it, mom and dad. think a -- think about your responsibility to one another and to your kids with no health insurance. that's what happens to an unemployed person. life is not a crystal staircase for these folks. they're trying get by and find a job. we need to help them. it's time for the republicans to stop the filibuster and bring the obama jobs bill to the floor. if you have better ideas, present those ideas as amendments. our people will present their ideas. let's have a full-throated debate about moving america forward. but, for goodness sakes, let us not stop the american economy cold in its tracks in earchts to preserve a republican
filibuster. it is time to move together in a bipartisan nature as a congress by both political parties. i thank my colleague from michigan for bringing this together for this conversation. there's nothing more topical and more important that we face. i yield the floor. the presiding officer: without objection, the materials are to be placed in the appropriate place in the record. mrs. hutchison: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from texas. mrs. hutchison: mr. president, i would certainly yield to the senator from montana, but i would like to ask that we set an order. i thought i was scheduled to speak, but apparently it's up in the air. so i would defer to the senator from montana and ask unanimous consent that i be allowed to follow him. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. baucus: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from montana. mr. baucus: mr. president, the english poet thomas gray once
said "commerce changes the fate and genius of nations." the united states has always understood that commerce improves our fate and sharpens our genius. we know that opening the channels of commerce creates new opportunities. it creates new ideas and forms new partnerships. we know that global commerce makes us more competitive, more innovative, more productive. it's also sometimes more difficult. today the senate has an historic opportunity to build on this legacy by approving our free trade agreements with colombia, panama, and south korea. these agreements will increase exports of u.s. goods and services. they'll create tens of thousands of good-paying american jobs. they'll bind us even more closely to three important allies. colombia, especially, has
returned from the brink of becoming a failed state to being the third-largest economy in latin america and one of its most respected leaders. it is astounding, mr. president, just how far colombia has come. a lot further to go, but considering the state of colombia 15-20 years ago, with the narcotics trade and the paramilitary, it is amazing how far colombia has come, and a lot of it goes to the courage of the colombian people and especially to their leaders. it's not been easy, to say the least. the country of panama is at the crossroads of global commerce and is among the fastest-growing economies in the western hemisphere. and south korea, the world's a 15th largest economy, our seventh-largest trading partner, is also a strategic ally in a very volatile region of the world. now more than ever we need to expand commerce and improve our
economic fate. clearly, with unemployment at 9.1%, our economy is growing too slowly, consumer demand is weak, american workers, farmers, and ranchers desperately seeking new customers for their products. the colombian, panama, and south korean trade agreements will help us in three lucrative and fast-growing markets. they will suppose exports up to $13 billion each year. they'll boost our gross domestic product by more than $15 billion and they'll support tens of thousands of urgently needed american jobs. it will help the jobs picture. compleerl not solve it but help. -- clearly not solve it, but help. these agreements will help americans like a fifth-generation cattle rancher from montana. earlier this year, earl testified before the finance committee on the importance of the south korean trade agreement. he told us that south korea is
the fourth-largest market in the world for u.s. beef. it's growing rapidly. earl welcomed the commitments i secured to increase market promotion and fully implement our bilateral beef import protocol. but he understood that our position in south american market is at risk. australia is racing to conclude its own trade agreement with south korea. by approving our agreement with south korea today, we will help earl and all american ranchers maintain their competitive edge, increase seacialtion and create -- increase sales, and create jobs. trade agreements improve our community only if they create a level playing field. we can newt how our trading partners to gain an unfair advantage by failing to respect worker rights or protect the environment. that's why the colombia, panama, and south korean agreements were
basically made in 2007, with all the labor and environmental framework that's included in these agreements. if amendments require our trading partners to uphold internationally recognized labor rights including the right to organize and the right to bargain collectively. that's in the agreement. we also require our partners to protect the environment. these obligations are fullien forceable, just like the commercial obligations in the agreements. in many cases our free trade agreement partners have gone the extra mile to meet our high standards. colombia is a good example. many of us are concerned about labor violations in colombia. we believe that the death of even one union member is one too many. i would urge my members to consider the progress colombia has made in recent years and the commitment of the colombian government to continue that progress. colombia demonstrated this commitment in april when president obama and colombian president santos agreed to the labor action plan.
that n. that plan, colombia made groundbreaking commitments to protect workers from violence and prosecute the perpetrators of violence. and colombia has fulfilled every single commitment to date. it has hired 100 new inspectors to enforce worker rights, cracked down abuses at cooperatives, expand the protection of union members, sentenced to prison 47 people found guilty of killing union members. there is still more to be done, mr. president. i am not going to standed heards and say that's not the case. but colombia has demonstrated remarkable problem. by approving the free trade agreement, they will be able to enforce worker rights in colombia including the rights addressed by the action plan. if we reject the agreement, we lose our ability to ensure that labor conditions in colombia will continue to improve. a very important point, mr. president. other countries' trade agreements with colombia do not have the labor production provisions.
the u.s.-colombia free trade tre agreement does have them. if we do not ratify this, workers in colombia will not be protected because other agreements don't protect them. these grade agreements will also help us rise to the challenge of china. to date, china is the number-one trading partner for south korea and the number-two partner for i don't meaniidon't mean -- for cd panama. if we reject them, china's advantage and influence in these markets will only grow. after we approve these agreements, we should begin thinking about the next steps for our trade grande $agenda. we should invite our new free trade agreement partners to join the transpacific partnership, otherwise known as t.p.p. we need to negotiate a transpacific partnership agreement, extend these
agreements to better facilitate even more jobs in america. colombia, panama, and south korea have democrat strategied they're willing to make the far-reaching agreements. they are participation in the t.p.p. negotiations would help us achieve a high-standard 21st century agreement that spans the city. thomas gray was correct when he said that "commerce changes the fate and genius of nations." there's no better example than the united states. we have benefited greatly from trading with foreign nations. in these tough economic times, we need to embrace these benefits now more than ever. for the sake of american exporters seeking to grow and create jobs, let's approve these free trade agreements. one final point, mr. president. i think it's fair to say, as we engage in commerce worldwide, can companies around the world, we are not simon peer.
we don't wear white hats. other countries are not darth vaders. they don't wear black hats. but it is true that the shade of gray of our hat is a lot lighter shade of gray than the shade of gray of their hats, which is a darker shade of gray. that's especially true with the american-asian countries than european countries. these agreements are no-brainers. they are no brai-brainers. i say that because with respect to colombia and panama, products, goods, services coming to our country with virtually duty-free. virtually no tariffs or nontariff trade barriers. there's some minor exceptions. on the other hand, american products going to those countries today face very high tariffs and trade barriers. especially in agriculture but also in manufacturing goods.
the figures are great stark, frankly. with respect -- so it is a no-brainer. these really are for the first time virtually free trade agreements. this is a fre a freebie. they are really free. with respect to korea, it is very similar. korean manufacturing tariffs, tariffs that korea has on u.s. goods are more than twice as high as u.s. tariffs are on korean manufactured goods. more than twice as high. tariffs that u.s. companies face with respect to korea are twice as high as are tariffs that korean manufacturers face when they try to sell products here in the united states. the average korean tariff on u.s. agricultural goods is 54%. the average tariff on american ragal goods, that we try to sell
over in korea, is 54%. that's about five times as high as the tariff is on korean agricultural products that they attempt to ship over to the united states. that's why this is a no-brainer. this is so simple. everybody should be for this. it does create a more level playing field. i urge my colleagues to support this and read the agreements and understand the terms of the agreement. this thing should go through with no opposition because we are in fact helping america, helping american jobs, the only slight wrinkle i hear about is colombia. i've been to colombia. when you're in colombia -- i know their leaders, past two presidents. it is clear that colombia has made huge progress, huge progress, and if we reject this, i submit that the progress that has been made thus far will slip and conditions in colombia will start to deteriorate.
we must pass these three agreements. i might also add that u.s. geopolitical position in south america is critical and if we adopt this agreement, that will enhance american geopolitical positions in south america. if we don't do it, the colombians are going to say, we've given up on the united states. we give up. then where is colombia going to go? next door to venezuela? more with china? we must pass these agreements? agreements. i yield the floor. mrs. hutchison: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from texas. mrs. hutchison: mr. president, i, too, rise today to speak in favor of the pending free trade agreements with south korea, panama, and colombia. more than 50 million americans work for companies that engage in international trade. currently, u.s. exporters
operate at a distinct disadvantage in countries where u.s. goods face high tariffs or discriminatory regulations. passage of these three free trade agreements will erase those disadvantages and allow our american businesses to compete on a level playing field in the global marketplace. for far too long, these trade agreements have sat on the president's defnlg desk. this delay has hurt our competitive advantage and cost american jobs. the administration's slow walk of these bills has encouraged some of our major trading partners to go forward and quickly negotiate on their own the agreements with these three countries. putting their workers at an advantage over u.s. workers. canada has already approved trade deals with both colombia and panama. the european union has passed agreements with all three
countries. canadian and e.u. workers and farmers are reaping the advantages of greater access to these markets. creating jobs, increasing investment, and growing the u.s. manufacturing and farming sectors should be our top priority. with a 9-1% unemployment -- 9.1% unemployment, this is a no-brainer. export more, make our products more competitive by lowering the tariffs and create jobs in america. what could be more clear? if we fail to act, american businesses will continue watching from the sidelines as other countries enjoy duty-free trading and continue to gain an advantage over american companies and employees. it has been estimated that failure to implement just the colombia and south korea free trade agreements would lead to a decline of 40z $2 billion in
u.s. -- $40.2 billion in u.s. exports. the net effect on these trade and output losses could total nearly 400,000 jobs. small businesses in america will be the largest beneficiary of these free trade agreements. these are the businesses that account for the largest group of u.s. exporters. indeed, more than 97% of the u.s. companies that export are small businesses, and they account for one-third of the total u.s. merchandise exports. our farmers and rampers will -- ranchers will also benefit from these agreements as the exports of our agricultural products have historically suffered from high tariffs and other nontariff barriers. south korea. the south korea free trade agreement will be america's
largest free trade agreement in asia. south korea is our nation's seventh largest trading partner, and the united states is south korea's third largest trading partner. the white house has estimated that when the free trade agreement with south korea is fully implemented, u.s. exports to south korea will increase by $11 million annually and add as many as 70,000 u.s. jobs. among the u.s. industries and workers that will benefit, the pending agreement will open the door for increased u.s. exports to south korea of our automobile products. mr. president, it should also be noted that approval of this free trade agreement will send a strong message that we stand with our allies in asia and will further strengthen our long and positive relationship with south korea.
panama. right here in our own hemisphere, the implement of the u.s.-panama free trade agreement will guarantee american companies access to panama's $21 million in services. this includes priority areas in financial, telecommunications, computer, distribution, express delivery, energy, environmental, and professional services. once implemented, 88% of u.s. commercial and industrial exports to panama will become duty-free. the remaining tariffs would be phased out over a ten-year period. we need to act now in order to preserve current exports to panama and pave the way for more. panama has recently signed free trade agreements with canada and the european union. colombia. nearly five years have passed since the u.s.-colombia free
trade agreement was signed by the united states and colombia on november 22, 2006. last year, u.s. exports to colombia totaled $12 billion, with many of those subject to the high tariffs. our exporters have paid nearly $4 billion in tariffs duties to colombia since that agreement was signed five years ago. the colombian congress approved the free trade agreement less than a year after it was signed. after five years, the u.s. congress is only now finally considering this agreement. mr. president, that is not the way to treat a friend. with passage of the colombia free trade agreement, 80% of u.s. exports of consumer and industrial products to colombia will be duty-free immediately.
with remaining tariffs phased out over ten years. the u.s. international trade commission has estimated that this agreement will increase the u.s. gross domestic product by $2.5 billion. on another front regarding colombia, they once had one of the worst drug cartel problems in our hemisphere. with their determination and integrity and with our help, colombia's government and law enforcement system have substantially cleaned out the medellin and cali drug cartels. to acknowledge their sacrifice, mr. president, this should have been the easiest of the free trade agreements to quickly have confirmed. and mr. president, we've waited five years as their country has done so much for itself to clean
up the cancer in their system, we should have done this five years ago. so i hope that there is no hesitancy and there is an overwhelming support in this senate for this free trade agreement. in conclusion, mr. president, with so many american businesses and workers struggling during this prolonged economic slump, it should be the easiest thing we do to enact these three free trade agreements. exports support millions of jobs in this country. these agreements will promote american sales and markets where we have been at a disadvantage for too long. it was disheartening that this administration has let these agreements languish for many months without taking action. we now have the chance to approve those that are before us
today, the three, which is good for our bilateral relations with these three countries, for working americans, for farmers and ranchers throughout our system, and for our struggling economy. mr. president, i am very pleased that these votes are being scheduled for today. we know the south korean president is going to address a joint session of congress tomorrow, and to have these be done and hopefully signed by the president when the south korean president comes, i think is the welcome gift that he has been looking for for a long time. i so look forward to having these three free trade agreements with these countries that have shown that they want to do business with america, they want to have free and fair access into their country from our great products and our great workers, and we should let them do it without further delay.
thank you, mr. president, and i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senator from washington. mrs. murray: i ask unanimous consent the following members of my staff be granted floor privileges for today's session, ellie zepnik, zach mallen and erin shotts. the presiding officer: without objection. ms. nur, mrs. murray: i ask unanimous consent these requests be agreed to and printed in the record. the presiding officer: without objection. mrs. murray: i ask unanimous consent to speak for morning business for 12 minutes. the presiding officer: without objection. mrs. murray: thank you, mr. president. mr. president, as every one of our colleagues knows, so much of what we do here depends really on the hard work and commitment of the dedicated staffers who toil behind the scenes on behalf of us and the constituents we represent.
so i wanted to take a few minutes here today to recognize a member of my own staff who has been with me for many years through good times and bad, and whose work ethic and competence, intelligence, and passion for public service is truly deserving of admiration and recognition as she now moves on to a new job after more than ten years of service in my office. alex glass came to work for me on april 2, 2001. we hired her on as a deputy press secretary. she'd graduated from bryn mawr the year before and gone to work for the gore for president campaign before joining my staff. alex was like many young people who make their way to our nation's capital after college. she was passionate about public service, wanted to make a difference, cared deeply about her country and the serious issues we faced. from the start, i knew that
alex was a strong addition to my team but just a few months later, it came clear to me that she was much more. it was a tuesday morning, we were right here in the nation's capitol, my communications director happened to be traveling that week so even though alex had just joined my staff she was my only press staffer who was here that day. as we all remember, a little bit after 9:00 a.m., we got word here in the capitol that planes had struck the world trade center. shortly after that, i looked out the window of the capitol and saw black clouds of smoke filling the sky above the pentagon. september 11, 2001. a day of unspeakable tragedy and devastating loss for our nation. for those of us here in washington, d.c., and those in new york and for families across america, it was a day of great confusion, uncertainty, and fear. on that day, alex stepped up for me. she stepped up for our office,
and she stepped up for our constituents. alex felt the same way every one of us did that day, but right away she realized that families in my home state of washington were going to want to hear from their elected official in this time of national crisis. she was calm, she was collected, and she was already thinking ahead to what we were going to need to do that day. so before we even evacuated she quickly scribbled down the phone numbers of the major press outlets in washington state and throughout that dark day and into the night, alex and i stayed together and through our state's press i was able to reach out to families who were desperate for news and who needed to know that despite this tragedy, their government remained strong. that day i knew what alex was made of, and i saw that spirit and dedication again and again over the next ten years. because alex always knew what this job was all about.
it was about helping people and solving problems. i remember so many times i was in the room with my staff and we were discussing one issue or another, and every once in a while we would hear a soft voice from the chair to my left. alex only talks when she has something to say. and in the clearest and most concise way she would help bring our discussion from the theoretical to the practical. how does this affect families in our state? how will these policies help the people that i was sent here to represent? these were the questions that were always on alex's mind, because she knew that those were the most important questions to me. so many times over the years i'd wake up and check my email and see an article that alex had forwarded to me. stories about veterans who weren't getting the care that they deserved, workers who couldn't find a job, families falling through the cracks. she didn't include a comment
with those stories. she knew she didn't have to. she just passed them along because she knew i would want to see them. and she understood it was those people, the ones in those stories, who i came to d.c. to fight for. alex isn't from washington state, but she dove into her adopted state with gusto and within a few months, she knew more about the issues facing our local communities than most of the people from washington. i remember one time -- and i never thought i'd tell this story out loud, but alex and i were in port angel everyone sench and someone thought it would be a good idea to travel in a helicopter to our next event. well, it may have been a good idea but alex and i, five feet tall, both of us, had to put on these bright, huge, orange flight suits that were made for someone much bigger than either of us. and i just remember catching her eye and we started laughing at each other and at ourselves.
she and i had so many moments like that together because alex is very serious about her work but she doesn't take herself seriously. she's much fun to be around and she has a fantastic sense of humor which is good for me, because i don't think there's anyone i've spent more time with in my car traveling around in washington state than alex. on a particularly stressful or long day on the road, she would always make sure we had cookies in the car, which i very much appreciated. and once during a busier day than you are i remember alex and i having a conversation about all the fun places we had to pass by in the car as we drove to the next events but never had time to stop and visit. we resolved to find the time to visit some of those when things got a bit slower, and i haven't forgotten about that. one day alex and i are going to visit that alpaca farm in skagett valley.
alex also knew that there was nothing i liked more than doing events where i could wear my jeans and tennis shoes and i know she fought hard to make sure that happened as often as possible and alex, i appreciate that. you know, alex always had my back. she was ready always to get done what needed to get done. back in 2004, i was facing a tough re-election campaign in my state. alex had a life here in d.c., but i went to her and i asked her to move out to the state to help me.i wanted her there not e she is just good at her job and knows my voice so well, but because she shares my vassments i had ever confidence that she would 0 know exactly how i would want to tell my story and get the message out to the people of washington. and alex, without blinking, said yes. she packed up her bags and put
her bunny in the car, and she drove all the way across the country to fight by my side in washington state and i just don't know if i could have done without her. alex then after that election came back who ato d.c. and spent six years as my communication direct and then she did it all over again, uprooting her life, packing that bun neerks driving all the way across the state when i needed her out in washington state again last year. and after she finished that job, i asked alex to come back here to washington, d.c., to serve as my senior advisered and provide me with the counsel and advice as i took on new challenges, and i was grateful when she accepted and got to work. but ten and a half years after alex glass first started working for me, the moment came that i knew was always going to come but never looked forward to. alex knocked on the door of my office and walked in and before she could say a word, i knew exactly what she'd come to tell
me. i gave her a hug. we talked. there may have been a few tears shed. but i always knew that alex has the skills, the talent, and the experience to do absolutely anything she wants to do, and i'm proud that she has chosen to continue working in public service and has accepted a job at usaid. although she is moving on, her amazing work and strong influence in my office will continue. her words and idea ideas have hd shape so much of what i have done and how i have communicated with my constituents. i can't tell you how many washington state roartz have come over to thank me. they told me how helpful and responsive and connected she was in at connect the the debates here to the struggle of our families in our state. she helped build and mentor a strong team in my office that
knows what we are trying to do and understands my voice and how i want to communicate with the people i represent. i've had many members of my staff come and go in my time here in the senate. many of them have been outstanding. every one of them has added value and done good work for me and my constituents. but there are very few who i have become as close to as i have to are alevel. over the last ten years, alex, you've been like a member of my family. truly like a daughter to meevment you've gone to the mat time and time and time for me. you've been through thick and thin for us. you've sacrificed so much for me and my office. i can't express how dee deeply i appreciatatso on behalf of every office, all the constituents i represent, i want to thank you for the years of service, to washington state and to the
nation. you've been my voice, my advisor, my conte daunts, most importantly my friend. it's meant so much to me and although i know it will continue, you aren't going away very far, i'm going to miss seeing new the office and hearing your voice almost every day. so alex, as you start this exciting new chapter, remember what rob and i would say to you when times got tough out in state: shoulders up. shoulders up. you've helped me keep mine up for more than ten years, and i wish you luck now, as you tackle your next challenge with the same heart and gusto and good humor that you brought to our office every day. thank you, mr. president. i yield the floor. the presiding officer: under the previous order, the senate stands in recess until 2:15 p.m. recess:
congresswoman, were you briefed about this foiled terror plot? what do you know about it? >> guest: actually, only the chairman and ranking member were briefed ahead of time because the suspect was arrested a number of days ago. this is sort of a gang of eight, where just a few people on the congress were briefed, but yesterday we were given a cursory briefing. we wanted to hear more about it. it's clear the fbi in its days of interrogation, and the fbi is the cadillac standard of doing these kinds of interrogations. they don't use any of these enhanced techniques. it was clear that the suspect cooperated. we got lots of information, not only about this plot, but other thing that is were learned, and
i think it was just a great example of good work that was done by the fbi. the other thing is is it seems pretty clear this is connected to the iranian government which is part of the iranian army was involved in this, and there's clearly going to be follow-up with the iranian government to hold them accountable. i think it might have some effect on russia and china in terms of cooperating with the sanctions that we have and more, even more rigorous sanctions against iran. >> host: you say it's clear there's a connection to the iranian government. what makes you confident of that connection? >> guest: well, let me put it this way. the information we have right now certainly, and according to what the attorney general said that the iranian government and its units within were part of
the plot. i only know what i heard and what i was told. >> host: what do you expect to hear next? do you expect to hear more? >> guest: oh, there will be more. i think that the issue will focus on sanctions, stricter sanctions from the iranian government, which right now is denying any kind of plot against the saudi ambassador. >> host: they say it's fabricated by the united states. >> guest: right. >> host: your reaction to that? >> guest: no, i think we have good information, it was careful work done to establish this kexes, and i think that -- connection, and i think absolutely that we have correct information. you know, this will unfold more. there's one suspect that's still at large, but i think that we'll continue to get more information from the individual and it's probably going to be a movie. >> host: here's the "wall
street journal" editorial saying this, "had it succeeded, this would have constituted an act of terror by the respect of iran and arguably an act of war." do you agree with that? >> guest: yes, i do. when you want to do an assassination within the united states, within an em embassy in the united states, certainly an act of terror. i don't know the law in terms an act of war, but it's certainly a serious act of aggression. >> host: this is also what they say, "less reassuring is the less seriousness by the west political leadership about iran's threat. the u.s. and allies imposed sanction regimes on iran, but allowed legalistic definitions to free ryanian officials with ties to its nuclearization program to flout travel bans and such." does more need to be done? >> guest: yes. i think all of those gaps will
be invest gaited right now, and if they need to be closed, that the door will be slammed as soon as possible. >> host: does that take an act of congress, legislation to do so? >> guest: i don't know that, i don't know. if it does, i know there's unanimous support for that. >> host: what happens next as far as congresses' involvement in the story? >> guest: the intelligence committee will be fully briefed, although, a good deal of it now is in the public press, and i think it's a good thing for people to know how successful our intelligence work is, but a lot of it, i think, will also be just informing some of the members, and then taking the next steps to hold iran accountable for that. >> host: how do you do that? >> guest: i do think the first step is enhanced sanctions, and these travel issues, financial, tieing up their finances as much as possible. >> host: all right. on intelligence gathering, how
has it improved since 9/11 when it comes to situations like we see after the announcement by the attorney general yesterday? >> guest: you know, we've had a good deal of updates since 9/11 of how the intelligence work has improved. i think the main thing is the connectivity, making sure -- we talk a lot about how the dots were not connected. we're doing a much better job in connecting all the dots and communicating with all levels of law enforcement, including the local level, so that we have people on the ground, local police departments that are informed about what to look for. i think we are much safer. >> host: what about the ties to the mexican drug car cartels in their influence or potential participation in terrorist plots? >> guest: that's really part of the interesting kind of scary thing about this. this individual thought he was
dealing and planned to deal with the mexican drug cartel, and that connection to terrorists will also be investigated. >> host: i want to move on to jobs because you're sitting on the energy and commerce manufacturing and trade committee. looks like these trade deals with south korea, panama, and colombia pass out of the house and the senate, and the president is expected to sign it. trade deal votes to divide democrats, not united on the trade deals. how do you plan to vote? >> guest: i plan to vote "no" on the trade deals. we lost 95,000 manufacturing plants and 6 million manufacturing jobs within the last decade. the trade deal that is we have had in the past beginning with nafta only caused more american jobs to be loss, have not really been good for workers, our trading partners either.
the chamber of commerce believes that we need to create more jobs, more manufacturing jobs here in the united states of america. that's what i think we should do. it's estimated that just the trade deal with korea would cost 159 ,000 jobs by the economic policy institute. >> host: you disagree with the president who says this will provide jobs? >> guest: you know, i don't see the american people agreeing. we don't have any experience in that. the deal with korea, for example, requires only 35% of the content of automobiles to be american-made. that means that downstream of the steel manufacturers and the part manufacturers, they can be made anywhere in colombia. this is still the most dangerous country to be a unionist, trade union member.
51 of them were killed last year. look, greta, if 51 ceos were killed in colombia last year, do you think we would be doing a trade deal with colombia? i don't. there'sism -- there's impunity meaning little punishment as a result. >> host: republican from new jersey, go ahead, harvey. >> caller: yes, good morning. nice to see you back. you're a frequent visitor on c-span. i wondered if you'd be so kind to tell us why you were one of the persons who voted against the simpson-bowles recommendations. please be specific. >> guest: i'm happy to. i not only voted "no," but if you ask alan simpson, he'll tell you that i proposed my own alternative which did not cut middle class and low income people and have an effect on
them, but still did reach primary budget balance which was the goal of the simpson-bowles mission that i sat on, and so i made a number of cuts, even some cuts, for example, on medicare. i said, we could save a lot of money if medicare were able to negotiate with the pharmaceutical companies were lower drug prices, so i looked at expenditures and cutting those, and also reasonable and fair increases in revenue. i did look carefully at the defense budget, and i didn't do anything to harm the national security or our soldiers or, you know, our -- the families of soldiers, but i offered a complete plan that achieved the goal, but didn't do 3-to-1 cuts which i felt further hurt middle
class and low income people. >> host: david next, a democrat from cooksville, tennessee. >> caller: hi. >> host: you're on the air, go ahead. >> caller: i just wanted to find out how come the bill didn't pass 50-49 or anywhere else in the democratic system that if there's 99 people voting, 50 of them vote one way, 49the other, the 50 passes. >> host: referring to the president's jobs bill which ?t senate yesterday needed 60 votes and fell short with ten. >> guest: i couldn't agree more. the filibuster is used to change the idea of majority rule, and now in the arcane rules of the united states senate, in order for debate even to proceed forward, it needed a super majority of 60 which really means 245 the minority can block the will of the majority. i think we need a change in this filibuster rule and do exactly
what you said. actually, it was 50 -- i understand it's 51-46 was the ultimate vote. all of the republicans, all of them, voting against the jobs legislation. legislation that even the chamber of commerce says in terms of creating more jobs in infrastructure that it would be a good thing to do, so i agree with you, david. >> host: democrats also joined republicans to vote against it. jim webb said this -- "i again emphasize my belief rather than increasing taxes on wages or ordinary income, the bill should be paid for by other means like raising the capital gains rate or ending costly subsidies and tax loopholes." >> guest: well, the bill was paid for in the senate by one of the most popular elements which was an increase in taxes on people who earn more than $1 million a year.
taxes reason millionaires and -- taxes on millionaires and billionaires is something that's very, very popular. in fact, what it did was lower taxes for working families by a holiday in the payroll tax, cutting it in half of what people used to pay, and putting more money in the pockets of ordinary people. look, i believe what businesses need right now primarily is not so much confidence, not so much tax cuts, they need customers. they need people who can go out and spend, and that's why the chamber of commerce says we need to create infrastructure jobs and they call it a two-fer because you not only put people to work doing important things like fixing weak bridges, but you're able to put money in the pockets of people that then did out and spend it. >> host: you had a similar jobs legislation to what the president has proposed. 14 million americans unemployed right now according to the september jobs number. >> guest: right.
>> host: how many jobs would actually be filled with construction jobs? >> guest: well, let me just say on my bill, my legislation, the emergency jobs to restore the american dream act, would have put 2.2 million people to work. how do i know? because every dollar had to be connected to a job. we're talking about fixing schools, which became part of the president's bill, hiring more teachers or retaining them, firefighters and police officers, part of the president's bill, restoring our parks, hiring more health care workers and child care workers, things that we need, but every dollar had to be connected to a job. mark zandy, an economist that was working for or consulted with john mccain when he ran for president said the president's bill he estimates would create about 1.9 million jobs and reduce the unemployment
rate by about 1%. mine would have been a little bit more than that. well, that would be enough to jump start the economy is the hope, but in any case, it would lower that unemployment rate and put more people to work. that's exactly what we need. >> host: massachusetts governor, mitt romney, last night's debate in new hampshire talked about the jobs plan. here's what he had to say. >> the stimulus bill that the president comes out with, we've seen this played in the theater several time, and what we're seeing doesn't work. the american people know when he went into office and borrowed $800 million for a massive jobs program, they didn't see the jobs. the green jobs we were supposed to get was money down the drain. we can't spend money on stimulus bills, but make permanent changes to the tax code. as the president's bill does, if you give a temporary change to
the payroll tax and extend it for a year or two, people don't hire people for a year or two. they make an investment in a person that goes over a long period of time. >> host: congresswoman? >> guest: first of all, that's the most repeated falsehoods that the stimulus bill did nothing to create jobs. the congressional budget office, all the objective, nonpartisan estimates that are created between 1.9 and 3 million jobs in the economy. we were bleeding jobs before the stimulus bill. that is just incorrect, and i did not hear one thing about how the republicans or mitt romney proposed to create jobs. all they say is that we should end regulations, not just the ones that are redundant or useless, which the president has already said 500 of them he's identified to get rid of, but right now what they want to do is end regulations so that
mercury can be put into the atmosphere. i've been fighting that for a week now on the floor of the house of representatives, to take away the clean air act, the clean water act, and get government out of the way is what they say. well, that is a danger to our health of our country. >> host: back to phone calls. herald, a republican in rowell, georgia. >> caller: good morning, and thank you for c-span. i just have a question. i'm one of those republicans that crossed over for obama in the last election with high hopes about things like trade. i keep hearing congress and the president talk about the need to bring in high skilled jobs into this country; however, i was working in a high-tech industry back during nafta, and i saw this exact same kind of trade deal set up occur with the expectation of bringing in new jobs and trade into our country, and what i saw was the trade with these nations siefned off
the jobs we're trying to create. your comments? >> guest: i don't know if you were listening earlier, but i agree with you. i'm skeptical about the value of these trade agreements in creating american jobs. i'm very worried that the exact same thing will happen, that, in fact, jobs will be given away to korea and colombia, and panama opposed to being created in the united states of america. we need to make things in america. we need to do advanced manufacturing where we take these great innovations that we invent like here in our country and bring them to products and sell them to the rest of the world. that needs to be the emphasis, and i'll be voting against those agreements. >> host: next call from south carolina. >> caller: good morning. >> guest: morning. >> host: good morning, becky.
>> caller: yeah, america today is the number one terrorist nation on this planet, plotting and plotting, plotting, dropping bomb after bomb after bomb. i mean, i never heard coverage of the harlem war march, and yet every day on the news, they report all the protests elsewhere in the middle east and all around the world. i mean, when is the american people going to wake up and stop electing these people who want to bomb and drop and kill little kids all around the world. it is so hurtful and painful to be a part of this country. >> guest: well, i don't agree that the united states is a terrorist country. i do agree we have to wind down the wars which we are doing in iraq and afghanistan. we need to not just build schools in afghanistan, but we need to build schools at home. we need to bring our young men
and women out of harm's way. we need to do it as soon as possible. >> host: poughkeepsie new, new york, republican, go ahead. >> caller: i just want to say i don't believe a word of this iran stuff. i read too many u.s. falsified missions for me just to believe it's got a translucent veneer. it sounds art official. i don't know if the guy said the iranian government was involved because he. he wanted out of it, but it's too con convenient for the united states, and it strikes me as a lie to try to put things -- >> host: we heard that during the first part of our program this morning, this destruct of the american government and what they are alleging here.
>> guest: well, we're certainly going to see a trial. we're going to see the full investigation. we're going to see the evidence, and i do have trust in the attorney general, but we don't -- that's not how we do it in america. we want to see the full details as they evolve. i don't think that you'll be correct, but all of us will be able to see whether or not -- [inaudible] >> host: if the mexican drug cartels are now terrorist organizations, did holder give arms to terrorists, referring to the fast and furious program. >> guest: well, that's the other thing that there's going on an investigation to make sure exactly what happened there. i really don't have the inside story on that. >> host: do you have confidence in attorney general erik holder? >> i do have confidence in the attorney general. if mistakes were made, we'll find out.
>> host: germany, kris tosser's joining us. >> caller: hey, how are you guys doing? did you go into the -- if you go into the third world countries we have trade agreements with, you won't find anything that says made in america on it. the reason why is because the only thing we're selling and trading with these countries is raw material. these countries actually buy -- they actually bid and buy our jobs from us and so they buy the raw material from us to assume the work with cheap labor, and the trade agreements are about us removing the tax. they actually charge us a tax for the raw materials that we send down to their countries for them to assemble the raw materials. it's about jobs at the end of the day. >> guest: well, you know, i don't think that these trade agreements are a good thing, and especially if you look at the
average income of consumers in those countries. it's hard to imagine that the kinds of products we want to export other than raw materials and agriculture products are things that they're going to buy from us, and so i think that it can have a downward push on manufacturing in the united states as we've seen over the last decade with the flood of jobs, the flood of companies taking their jobs overseas. >> host: otis next, independent from omaha, nebraska. >> caller: was your husband a convicted felon, and what was he was indicted from? that's it. i can listen off the phone. >> guest: my husband, the head of a public interest organization, was convicted of
check tightening essentially, borrowing -- but no institution lost any money, nobody did, and he went to prison for five months, paid his debt to society. there was no money owed because no bank and nobody lost any money in the deal, so in order to try and prop up an organization, he served his time, and that's in the past now. >> host: walter, democratic line, long island, new york. >> caller: hi. i just wanted to make a comment about the iranian situation. you know, the intelligence community today. i have family who, i guess, who do overseas intelligence work, and the current situation in terms of the privatization of intelligence work is insane
because there's no such thing as a loyal corporate spy, and you know, the cia might have been corrupt, but at least they were loyal to america, but the current privatization of intelligence work is really necessarying -- missing a lot of things up. same with the military. >> host: the select intelligence committee? >> guest: actually, i have been a great proponent of stopping outsourcing our intelligence work and of our security work in iraq and afghanistan to private companies. i am constantly talking about it asking our intelligence agencies whether or not we are moving toward people who wear the badge of the united states of america, not for outside contractors, and i think you are right. i think there are certain things
that are inherently governmental functions that we should have people that are expolice siltly -- explicitly hired by the united states america who are accountable to us, loyal to us, and i think the intelligence area is one area where we need far fewer outside court contractors. >> host: ed, you're on the air. >> caller: yes, ma'am, i was calling to say that i feel the united states needs a new form branch of bank that anyone can come and put money into, but it wouldn't be like sun trust or wac -- wachovia. you don't have a debit card, but you can put money in, and there's groups within the new bank, but this bank is to help support the existing banks that's there today, and that's
my main thought on that issue. >> host: all right, edward. >> guest: interesting idea. >> host: democratic caller, judy. >> caller: yes, thank you. i want to thank you and commend the representative on her work on clean air. i am a guest, mother, grandmother, and teacher that people don't understand how important that is. i mean, i'm sorry, are they just ignorant of the facts of how we breathe and what we can breathe and what effect it will have on? my question is what can we, just normal people, do to let our representatives and senators know how important this is to us? >> guest: yeah, i really hope you do because i don't think the members of congress are hearing enough from people who are concerned now that we're turning back the clock. we're going to be poisenning our air with things as toxic as mercury. i asked the colleagues yesterday, you say things like,
well, you don't want to leave a debt to your country, to your grandchildren. well, do you want to leave brain damage to your grandchildren and to your children? that is exactly what the mercury, for example, it's just one of the things, but it's a neurotoxin affecting pregnant women and their fetuses, newborn babies, and children as they develop. many women in the united states already have mercury in their bodies because they eat fish that are contaminated with mercury that comes from the air. i don't get it. i don't understand how we can sacrifice these health registrationlations in the name of job -- registrations in the name of job creation. that's false. those are job creation industries, and we built those up over the years, and now we're seeing a complete roll back of decades of work to get our air
and our water and our land to be cleaner, so, please, contact your legislators. >> host: line for independence, phyllis in countryside, illinois. >> caller: good morning, greta, good morning, jan. i want to discuss water and imparts. as far as the war is concerned, greta, i told you back in 2003 that my girls club, i told them don't vote for bush because we'll go to war in the middle east over oil. it's still the same thing because saudi arabia needs to get a pipeline through iraq, iran, afghanistan, and into china. that's what's going on there. bring all our troops home. that's 2 trillion a year we'd save, plus the lives of our children and soldiers. as far as imports go, put an import tax on it, jan, a big one, equalizing $20 an hour american dollars, and you'll see
the jobs come back here, okay? >> guest: we need to do what we can to have fair trade, not just free trade, but fair trade for american workers. the president's estimated that we -- has promised, that we'll save a trillion dollars by winding down the wars. that's part of the budget proposal. i think we need to go even faster an more aggressively in bringing our troops home from afghanistan, but i am worried that they may be replaced by private contractors. we want our footprint to be actually smaller in those countries. >> host: joe's next, democratic caller from orlando, florida. >> caller: yes, good morning. i'd like to speak a little bit how congress is so paralyzed, not being able to get much done, and, you know, the first day at the session, the house of representatives this year, they
read the constitution from the floor if you recall, and as far as i know the word "filibuster" does not appear anywhere in the constitution, and i really believe that the filibuster is being used to make like a tyranny of the minority as before referred to as. this is a really serious problem, and i know that senator hawkin has been trying for years to change the situation. he's been unable to because it's inconvenient for both parties. i hope c-span can do a special program about this because i really think that our nation's in danger because we're coming up with suboptimum solutions as thomas friedman says. >> guest: well, there actually were efforts -- i agree with you -- to change the filibuster rules. there's a couple minor tweaks
that have not really been able to get this clog out of the way this huge barrier out of the way of getting legislation passed. i do believe that there's a reasonable amount of time that people ought to be able to have debate in the senate, but once that time has elapsed, and that was part of the harkin proposal, and i think you have to be able to have a majority vote to get things through the united states senate. elections matter. elections count when you have a majority. i think that those rules, you know, that we argument to change the rules so the majority can work its will. >> host: congresswoman schakowsky represents the 1 1*9 district area. alfred, from new jersey, are you there? >> caller: yes. >> host: okay. go ahead. we're listening.
>> caller: yes, good morning. i just want to ask you, let's agree first of all that the philosophy of yourself, people like you, and the president, has definitely failed. why is it that you can continue to try to extract money from productive people in our country? the expenditures, the money you've spent and wasted is hue -- huge, creating a huge debt. let's continue to tax successful people. >> guest: first of all, let me say that you may have not remembered, but george bush was handed a surplus when he came into office, and by the end of his administration, not only was there a huge debt, but the markets had failed, a blind eye to wall street allowed the economy to almost go into a great depression, and so now to
blame barack obama for something inherited by the last administration, and the republicans blocking all efforts to try to make the economy better, but here's the thing, you talk about taxing productive people. the tax weights on wealthiest americans are at the lowest level for some 50 years in our country. the idea is fair taxation, to allow people to pay their fair share. this is not about punishment or revenge or envy. it is about making sure that those who have benefited from the common good and elizabeth warren had a great comment saying great, you have a factory and you make a lot of money or a business and you make a lot of money, your employees are educated by the public, by our tax dollars. you take your goods over roads
that all of us have paid for. you are protected by police and firefighters that all of us pay for, and now you can keep the bulk of your money, but you need to pay your fair share, and that's all that this conversation is about. 81% of americans agree that we need to tax the wealthiest americans right now. we have the greatest income disperty in our country since 1928. middle class incomes have fallen. the middle class is disappearing, and the very rich are getting richer. the poor are getting poorer. this is not good for the economy. it's not good for democracy. it's nod good for -- it's not good for our competitive edge in the world. we need to have economic fairness in our country, and that means everybody, everybody has to pay their fair share. >> host: western times front page story, senate rejects obama
east $447 billion jobs bill. two democrats joining republicans to oppose it. that was john tester of montana and ben nelson of nebraska, both up for reelection next year, join the 42 republicans in voting against the measure. one from oklahoma did not vote by the way. other news reportings this morning that the next strategy in the senate is they'll break up the bill, pair things that democrats like with things that republicans like. what do you make of 245 strategy? >> guest: well, i'm concerned what the republicans don't like about the jobs bill is the jobs part. actually creating more jobs and putting people to work doing things that we need, and, again, this is one of the issues i really don't get. you know, don't republicans drive over creeky bridges as well with kids in the car? don't they want to see those kinds of things done for their own families as well as for the
country? i don't understand why there's not support for direct job creation like construction jobs, union jobs, teacher jobs, and all kinds of good work on our community. i'm a little bit concerns bouts breaking up the package. i would like to see it all as one piece, but, you know, we'll see as we go forward what we can get dun. >> host: fred's next, democratic caller, orlando, florida. >> caller: yes, can you hear me? >> host: we can hear you, fred. >> caller: yes, i'd like to know the jobs proposal not pass, what will we do? is there like a nothing deal? will we get the country moving forward or will it just stay still until after the election? thank you. >> guest: well, you heard the president in his speech about jobs that americans really can't wait for now it's 13 months in
order to get back to work and the economy get rolling again, and that's why he proposed his bill when he did and asked the congress to pass it right now. my concern is yours. are the republicans so much against creating these jobs and helping the economy because they want to defeat president obama, because they want to defeat the democrats that they are willing to vote against the economy and against jobs and wait for the next election? frankly, i think that that's a risky political decision on their part because i think the americans want to see something happen. people of all walks of life right now are suffering losing their homes as well as their jobs as well as their health care, and i think that we do need to move ahead, not wait for the next election.
i'm hoping that they'll see the light when their constituents let them know we need the help. >> host: a tweet from a viewer. george bush is gone, obama made it worse, lost control of the house and senate. stop the blame game. >> guest: well, actually, if the president didn't do the things he had done, i believe we would have been in a full-fledged depression in this country, but the kinds of actions he took, including the stimlouse bill which -- stimulus bill which put up to 3 million people back to work or prevented more layoffs, i think, was the thing that saved the economy from actually falling into the abis, and so -- abyss, and so i disagree with the tweeter that this is a blame game. it's just a fact. people forget that how bad things were when the president
raised his hand and took that oath of office, and i do not believe the president in any way has made it worse. the situation was worse than we even thought it was. >> host: darrell, republican from detroit, michigan. >> caller: good morning. >> host: good morning. >> caller: i have a comment first and then a question. we have not run a balanced trade surplus since 1957. every -- 1975, every president's promised to expand markets. none have had any luck. right now even the current president says he wants to double exports in the next five years. >> leaving "washington journal" at this point to go live to the white house press briefing. here's jay carney. >> nothing newsworthy, i promise. [laughter] no, no, i had that. >> [inaudible] [laughter] >> thinking about coming out
here, you know? >> good, anyone else? [laughter] thanks for being here today. before we start -- before we get to questions rather, i just wanted to say we're very pleased that today congress is taking up three important trade agreements that will help strengthen our economy and create jobs. as you know, the president strongly supported the agreements and worked hard to get the best possible agreement with south korea, and we're glad to see that congress is taking them up and hopefully will approve them tonight or today. i would say that that's an indication of the kind of cooperation that this president has had and will continue to have with republicans where they agree. patent reform is another example of the kind of cooperation where between republicans in the congress as well as democrats and this president, that is a
piece of legislation republicans said was very important. the president agreed. he signed it into law. having noted that instead of continuing to focus on creating jobs getting the american people back to work, tomorrow, the house of representatives will turn its attention to a motivated piece of legislation that unnecessarily restricts the private insurance choices that women and their families have today, and it is legislation that will not create a single job. when job creation and economic growth is the american people's highest priority. the house has also been focused on measures that would either eliminate or severely con strict our ability to keep our air and water clean. again, these measures have no job creating potential, certainly not in the near term, setting aside their merits. the priorities the american
people have now is the economy and jobs. that's the priority the president's focused on, as you know. the president's going back to that piece of legislation i mentioned before that came up yesterday in the house. the president's senior advisers recommend he vetoes the legislation if presented to him. it's time for congress to meet its responsibility, put these measures aside, and take actions with jobs right now. with that, ben feller. >> thanks, jay. two topics. on the failed plot murder of the saudi ambassador, would you consider that an act of war? >> we consider it what it was, an attempted terrorist act to assassinate the saudi ambassador here to the united states. it's important to call things what they are, and the fact of the matter is that the united states disrupted a conspiracy to
assassinate the saudi ambassador in a plot that was directed by elements of the iranian government, and the disruption of this plot represents a significant achievement by our intelligence and law enforcement agencies. it's a dangerous escalation of the iranian government's long standing use of violence, and we consider an effort to assassinate a dip mat in the united states to be a flagrant violation of law. as you know, we're committed to holding the iranians accountable. we have charged two individuals because of their involvement in this serious plot and sanctioned several others. we imposed additional sakss on mamoud air that provides services to the irgc, the republican guards, actively engaged in an outreach to many capitols in the u.n. and new york as well to explained what happened to preempt efforts by iran to be successful in their efforts to deflect
responsibility and so we can enlist more countries in working together against this escalation of iran. >> can you view how massive the response could have been by the united states had the plot succeeded? i mean, is there any doubt that there's -- little doubt there would have been military responses? >> i think that's speculating on what might have happened had we need succeeded in disrupting this plot because of the excellent work and coordination between our law enforcement agencies and our intelligence agencies. you know, in this arena, we take no options off the table, but in dealing with iran, we are clearly focused on working through economic measures, sanctions, as well as diplomatic measures to isolate iran, and we've had, we think, substantial success doing that. for the first time in a long time, the iranian economy is not growing, and we think that is a result both of poor decision making by the iranian
leadership, but also by the impact of the substantial sanctions that we and others placed on them, and this president's been very focused on holding up iranian behavior so it is clearly seen by other nations around the world, and that enables us to work cooperatively with our international partners to isolate and put pressure on iran in a way that's never been achieved before. >> one more quickly on this last point. what would be a satisfactory response from the world community? >> well, as i said, we're working with a bilateral way with other countries and capitols to discuss what happened,s seriousness of this plot, and the involvement of the iranian government in it, and working with bilaterally with other countries and internationally with the u.n. and other institutions to
continue to isolate iran through a variety of means. >> on the jobs front, we know the white house is working with the senate on what happens now when the pieces might come forward. can you tell the american public that might be looking for action on some of these pieces when they can expect action? what might come first? what's the plan? >> i will leave it to the leaders of the senate, senate majority leader, harry reid, to fill in the details on what we hope is a series of votes in the senate on the component parts of the american jobs act because as you point out, there's a lot of interest out there in this jobs act being passed, and last night, let's just be clear what we saw happen, a majority of the united states senate voted in favor of legislation supported by the majority of the american people that is paid for in a way that has the support of the
american people, and it was blocked by republicans who, none of whom, not a single republican senator voted for it, which suggests, perhaps, there's nonat -- there's not an economic problem or jobs problem in the states those senators represent, but i don't think that's the case. having been through the vote last night, we now expect the senate to move forward and hold votes on individual pieces of it. as we said all along, we want congress to pass it in full. if that doesn't happen, the president wants congress to take action on the individual components of it, and if measures come to him that have passed, paid for in a way that meets his principles, and then he'll sign them into law and say where's the rest? one of the reasons when the president, vice president, and their team, the team here crafted this proposal, there were two priorities.
one, it had to have measures in it that would have direct and immediate impact on the economy, on growth and job creation. two, they wanted it to have measures -- they wanted it to be filled with measures that had traditionally enjoyed bipartisan support, or the kinds of measures that had, which i think goes to the whole argument about whether or not this was a political exercise or a legislative exercise. it was a legislative exercise, and it is a legislative exercise because -- that's why there's things within it things republicans traditionally supported. perhaps by breaking it up, republicans will support it and hear the call from their constituents that they want washington to take action on their number one priority. i want to move it around. go up and back. anybody in the back there? yes, ma'am. >> just follow on that -- will the president be proposing which legislation comes with which piece? which one starts first if
considering a series? >> we consult with and coordinate with senate leadership as well as the house leadership regularly, and i'm sure we'll have those conversations, but it's senator reid's prerogative to make those decisions and we'll discuss that with him, but i'll leave it to him to make any announcements he might have in terms of how he'll proceed and on what schedule. i'll come forward then. yes? >> based on what you know about the iran plot, how high up does the knowledge and involvement go? all the way up to ahmadinejad and the supreme leader? >> clearly, the plotting of this attempted assassination happened at senior levels of the quds force. beyond, that i can't be more -- i can't be more specific, but it's significant in and of itself we believe it's clear
supreme levels of the quds force was involved in the plotting. >> you mentioned you called it a dangerous escalation. obviously, it's of a different order than the types of issues that you were looking at when sanctions were developed. you know, is this a time for a major rethinking of the policy? >> well, we are obviously responding to this with some of the actions that we've already taken and some of the efforts that we'll be making working with our international partners, and we will hold iran accountable for its actions here, and i would simply step back to look at the president's overall policy. he came in, and he made it clear that we would engage with iran if iran was willing to change its behavior, and by taking that approach, it made it clear to
the world that iran was the problem, and that has allowed us to rally international support behind efforts to isolate iran, to put pressure on iran, to sanction iran or individuals within iran, and that has had an impact that i described earlier. we'll continue to pursue those efforts and intensify them in light of this very serious attempted assassination. >> but can you be more specific about the next steps? do yo go to the -- do you go to the security -- >> i won't be more specific, but we'll -- the secretary of state said yesterday, i believe, with working with other capitols, new york, the united nations in talking with our partners and international institutions about what transpired here, what a serious thing it is to target an ambassador in a third country,
and why we need to take action to ensure that iran is held accountable, but i don't have any specific steps to describe to you today. i'll go back. >> jay, the "new york times" reported sunday on a memo that the justice department gave the white house authorizing the assassination of anwar al-awlaki. can you confirm the memo, and will it be released like senator feinstein requested? >> you know i'm not discussing matters of that nature, but as a matter of fact. mr. awlaki was a leader in the peninsula, directly involved in plots to perform terror that would have resulted in terrorist acts against the united states, and, you know, it is important
to remember that when we assess the overall question. >> any other americans that were targets on that list? >> again, i'm not going to, as others who are here when this happened, i'm just not going to engage in a conversation about that. jake? >> you said that the environmental regulations at the house are talking about rolling back not creating jobs, but didn't the president of the jobs council the other day talk about the very choice between environmental regulations and job creation and how this was a debate the nation needed to have to talk about 10,000 jobs that come with it, 10,000 new cases of asthma. didn't he acknowledge that? >> well, the president does believe, as you know, because he launched the first ever substantial regulatory lookback so that this administration would scour the books to identify outdated or due publictive or overly burdensome
regulations or minimize them or do away with them that there's an issue with regulation here we need to address in a smart way. this was a point made by ap in a fact check that even if you agree with republican policy proposals aimed at deregulation, there is no case to be made that if enagented, those -- enacted those proposals would result in an immediate, positive impact on the economy or job creation. my point at the top was simply, there's a problem now that needs to be addressed. the president has a plan to address the problem we have now, which is the need to grow the economy and create jobs because, i mean, it's simply -- if the answer is there's nothing we can do or should do, then that suggests there's a willingness to live with 9.1% unemployment, and to live with, you know, fairly modest economic growth, a kind of modest economic growth that will not add to our
employment rolls, and the president is not satisfied with that, and that's why he's pushing the american jobs act. the contrast that's important to make here is in terms of the jobs, what they have called the jobs plan that the republicans have put forward, contains within it, and it's cut taxes, cut regulations, cut spending, no measures that would have, even if you believed everything in the package was notorious, no measures with dmon straitble impacts in the short term. don't take my word for it, but economic advisers and moodies assessed it as it even if there's positive proposals within in it. >> i'm not comparing it to the president's jobs bill, but as a matter of principle, the white house itself a few weeks ago decided not to go forward with an epa regulation because of concern as though what the impact would be on the economy during a fragile state and time
for the economy. i'm wondering how when you do it you guys take business the economy would have, and when they do it it's something else entirely? >> the issue here was creating uncertainty for businesses when, in fact, we revisit the standards in two years. that's the reason the president laid out, but putting aside that specific one, my point is not that there might not be benefits to some streamlining or even elimination of some overly burdensome regulations. president's made that clear with the roll back, but that there's no -- that is not a jobs plan, even if there are elements within it worth doing, that's not a jobs plan. the point the president's making, i'm making today, that there is a priority right now widely felt by the american people that washington needs to take positive action to help the economy grow and to help the
economy create jobs. >> the one other question i wanted to ask is whether or not the president agrees with the campaign manager, their strategy to defeat the republicans in congress, their strategy to suffocate the economy for the stake of what they think will be a political victory. >> whether it's deliberate or not, by not taking action, 9.1% unemployment feels suffocating to most americans who are experiencing it, and this goes to the point i was making that there is an opportunity here for congress to act in a positive way to do what outside economists say would boost growth by 2% next year, and add up to 1.9 million jobs next year. that would be a substantial accomplishment for the american people, and do it in a way that's entirely paid for, not adding a dime to the deficit, paid for in a way that's supported by the majority of
american people and the republicans according to bloomberg's poll. you know, this is an opportunity that should not be wasted. there is a priority here that the american people have that is clear as day to anybody who looks at the data or has conversations out in the country with average americans who are just trying 20 make ends -- to make ends meet. let's do something on the economy, there's proposals enjoying bipartisan support in the past, let's agree with it now. i have not spoken with the president about that 6789 i think we agree that inaction has a suffocating effect on the economy, no question. yes? >> what's been the -- [inaudible] >> i was just discussing that moments ago. we are pleased by the reports
that mr. gilad will be home soon with his family. his release is long overdue. the question about the broader middle east peace process, our focus is on, as you know, and you heard me say many times, the palestinians and israelis taking steps towards peace, taking steps towards direct negotiations because the only way that the goal they both seek can be achieved is through direct negotiations. yes? >> clearly plotting happened at senior levels of the quds force and they believe it has gone to the highest levels of the iranian government. does this administration believe it's possible this plot could have been carried out with without the knowledge of the highest levels of the iranian government? >> that's a speculative
assessment. i'm prepared to say we know from the facts that it clearly involved senior levels of the quds force. i'm not going to speculate or go further -- >> is it a rogue effort? >> part of the government's, and i think that speaks for itself. the -- i mean, but that's as specific as i'm going to be. >> secretary clinton has said that gholam shakuri would be held accountable. have you heard from other european allies they agreed to step up their sanctions against iran? >> we are working with european allies and partners elsewhere around the world to discuss this matter, this story just broke yesterday, as you know, and the, you know, we're having these conversations right now. i think it's important to make clear the seriousness of this,
the substantial evidence described by the attorney regime and others yesterday and -- attorney general and others yesterday and why it's important to hold iran accountable and why we continue to do that. i don't have actions to announce in terms of other countries. >> can you give us a sense how frequently the president was briefed on this and overtime how far he was in the loop with the ongoing investigation, and then the timing happened days after americans in iran, the hikers were released. is that timing just a coincidence? >> it is just a coincidence. the president, as you know, was first notified about this in june. he was updated regularly on it and kept abreast of it as you would expect, and i mean, i don't really have more details than that. all the way in the back, yeah. >> thanks, jay. the republicans and democrats have been making very different comments about those occupy wall
street protesters. i mean, given the fact the american jobs act was defeated yesterday in the senate, does the white house plan to communicate with the protesters somehow to push forward the jobs bill? >> what the president and others have said in the administration is that we understand the frustration that's been expressed by the protesters on wall street and elsewhere. it reflects the kind of sentiments that drives washington to take action on behalf of middle class americans, and it does go specifically to the point of wall street in the sense that actions were obviously taken by the previous administration in this one to ensure the financial sector in this country did not collapse. this president believes that was the right thing to do because it
prevented an even more disastrous economic situation in this country. the president also believes very firmly and fought hard for legislation that put in place rules of the road for wall street that would ensure that the kind of financial collapse that almost happened in this country could not happen again, and that it ensured we did not have a situation where taxpayers would have to bail out institutions as they had to in the past. that legislation passed and was signed into law, and since then, some members of congress have been actively trying to water it down and others running for high office have been calling for its repeal. we think that's a terrible idea. we think the american people when made aware of it agree with us. it's a terrible idea. the protections that are put in place through the wall street reform measure are designed to give consumers a fighting chance in that arena, to make sure they
are not subject to abuses by credit card companies and to make sure that the kinds of actions that led or contributed to the recession could not happen again. it goes right to the fact that richard cordray, president's no , nominee for the consumer financial protection board, is likely going to be held up by republicans in the senate -- another indication that they don't share the interests of the average americans out there who feel like wall street should follow the rules, and the rules are clearly set out in that legislation, so, you know, i think that speaks to the kind of frustration you're seeing through these protests, and it's why the president feels so strongly we have to ensure that the wall street reforms he fought so hard to put into place are implemented. yes, nora? >> thank you, jay. it sounds like you don't know
how high this assassination plot went up within the iranian government. >> i just said i'm not going more specific about it than i have been. >> do you believe it was more than likely that iran's supreme leader knew about this plot? >> again, nora, i can't be more specific. >> how dough yo expect to rally the world, further isolate iran if you're not willing to say what elements, other than the quds force knew about the asassment plot? >> let's be clear, the irc and the quds force is not some minor element of the iranian government or military. secondly, i think the fact that there was an attempted assassination of a protected diplomat will be and is a great concern to nations all around the world who have their diplomats positioned around the
world. this is a flagrant violation of international law, and we don't believe we're going to have any difficulty in persuading other nations 20 agree -- to agree with us that this is a serious, serious matter. >> no doubt from the secretary of state and vice president, and you yourself said no doubt in persuading countries to take additional steps. what are the additional steps? >> we per sued in terms of sanctions and isolated iran, other countries doing that as well, and we've worked with them prior to incident to do that, and it has had dramatic effect, we believe, in iran. it's contributed to further isolation of the iranian regime and put pressure on them. those are the actions we're continuing to work on yiewn lat ri, bilaterally, and
multilaterally. >> can you be specific on what you mean? >> they've had an effect, and we're going to intensify the pressure, and continue to work with our allies and partners around the world to hold up and make clear iranian behavior, and also make clear that, you know, they have 5 choice to make -- a choice to make in terms of gets right by the international community, and we've made clear what that would entail. >> the secretary of state said today we're going to hold them accountable, make the iranians pay the price. what do you want done? >> nora, i'll repeat answers i've given. two individuals were charged, levies put on more individuals, more action taken today against an airline related to this, and we will continue to take measures to put pressure on iran, and as i've also said, we don't take anything off the
table in these matters, but we're focused on this, and we know in the two and a half years plus that we've been here that this approach has had an effect. >> one more. the president knew about this plot back in june. the president's national security adviser informed king abdullah about it two weeks ago. why the lag time? >> they discussed this with the king, but i don't know of any conversations that occurred prior to that or subsequent to that. you know, we obviously cooperate closely with saudi arabia, and important ally, and we appreciate the statements the saudis put out yesterday. you know, i just don't have anything more on that for you. >> [inaudible] >> all the way in the back. >> thank you, jay. if the plot truly was planned by the quds force as you mentioned to be inherently provocative.
>> the plot itself seems to be provocative, attacking a diplomat, assassinating a diplomat. that is a provocative act. so how do you respond in a way that doesn't just play into the intent to be provocative? >> i don't think there is an alternative holding iran accountable. and that's what we're doing. it is very serious escalation, a dangerous escalation of their behavior, a behavior that has a long history. we are taking action that we believe is appropriate and that we hope will, through the intensifying isolation pressure on iran, change their behavior. >> wide is the message from yesterday's senate, -- [inaudible] that they can compromise on? >> what i think i said, the president said is that if the
senate did not pass the jobs act in its entirety or as a single bill that we would then move to elements of proponent parts of the jobs act. the senate will do that as majority leader reid has said. and we hope for and expect republican support for these individual members, as i think leaders of the republican party and the house and senate have said would be the case. now, we will insist every measure here deserves broad bipartisan support because they're the kind of measures that have earned broad bipartisan support in the past. we will not be satisfied, you can be sure, if only one or two or three of them passed. because all of them passed, should pass. the plan was constructed in a way to have the kind of collective impact on the economy that would be a significant net positive to the american people and the american economy. again, i point you to the
outside analysis of the american jobs act, all of its component pieces, what kind of impact that would be on the economy in terms of job growth and economic growth. so, but we will work, we hope that the kind of expressions of support from some other measure we have seen, the individual measures will be realized and votes for them as we move forward here. but don't miss the -- misunderstanding that we will not be satisfied if they measure does not succeed and reach the presidents desk. >> but you could have passed a portion of the bill yesterday? >> well, because we believe -- i think you're making assumptions about behavior in the congress that can never, we heard last night i believe in republican debate suggestions that even the payroll tax cut extension and expansion isn't a good idea. somehow a little bandy. if you're an american family out
there, $1500 is a little more than a band-aid next year. how you can before, how you can support the ryan budget which would give an average of $200,000 additional in tax cuts to millionaires, and be against tax cuts for regular working folks in this country, 95% of americans, is beyond me, but that's a weird last let. i don't think we can take anything for granted here. the reason why we wanted a vote on the full measure is because we believe in every piece of it, and we just don't believe in every piece of it, the president doesn't just believe in every piece of it but the vast majority of american people have belief in a. we will keep at it. we certainly don't think that ideological legislation that does not create a single job is the next order of business. >> officials say privately there's no plan on breaking it down into its component parts this week. the president makes clear in his statements today that you want
to see politically painful -- [inaudible] and the focus appears to be as much on that as it is on passing the elements. >> let's just be clear. i've seen some of his reporting, and we would like nothing more than for all of this to pass for the president to sign it. and as the president said at the end of his press conference last week, he would like nothing more for congress to deprive him of the opportunity to run against a do-nothing congress by actually doing something on the economy and jobs. his interest is in helping the economy and in helping, and putting people back to work. you might argue if you're being political that economic growth and job creation would be good for him politically. so even if that were his motivation, it would be, it would be focused on getting all of this past because of his
positive impact on the economy and jobs in this country. the idea this is some political exercise is again a fallacy because it was designed, put together, parts that were seen to be legitimately the kind of things that republican support in the past as well as democrats. a huge portion of this packet is tax cuts. tax cuts for working americans. tax cuts for every american who gets a paycheck. tax cuts for small businesses. the 18th tax cut for small business. incentives for businesses to hire veterans from iraq, afghanistan. men and women with enormous qualifications have sacrificed and done extraordinary things for their country, deserve our help in getting jobs. as well as measure to put teachers back to work, 280,000 of them across the country have been laid off. one of the reasons why we've had the kind of smaller than hoped for jobs force is because even though we have seen consistent
private sector job growth, we have seen layoffs in the public sector. so, you know, i'm telling you, please, if republicans in congress think this is a political exercise, they can deprive the president of the opportunity to complain about their intransigence by voting for it. >> does the administration see the senate vote on the china currency bill is actually harmful to u.s.-china relations? >> you know, cheryl, we share the goal of the legislation in taking action to ensure that our workers and companies have a more level playing field with china. including addressing the undervaluation of their currency, an issue i've spoken about in secretary geithner and others have spoken about. aspect of the legislation do, as i said, raise concerns about consistency with our international obligations which
is why we're in the process of discussing with congress those issues. and if this legislation were to advance, and we would expect those concerns to be addressed. >> president obama spoke earlier today, and his support seems to be slipping a bit. one poll showed that 48%, down from about 50% in january. why do you think that is? >> i think that every american has been frustrated by the kind of economy that we've had this year, the fact that it has not grown fast enough, not enough jobs are being created. and i think that frustration is reflected in polls that measure the presidents support, and his job approval, and polls that
measure congresses support and job approval, which i believe continues to hit record lows. which, again, and we hear you. the american people want washington to focus on what matters, jobs and economy. the president is focused on jobs and the economy. i certainly don't think that latino americans are any different from any other americans who are frustrated with what they are seeing out there. frustrated with washington and the kind of destruction that we saw most vividly over the summer wind, you know, you know, one element of the house, one part in house of representatives basically drove, drove us to the brink and put at risk, you know, raises the possibility of potentially the united states we default on its obligation in the first time at its history. that is the case of the tail wagging the dog. and certainly is not helpful for
the american people who spent what will the president do now -- between now and the election to help create jobs? >> the president again is focused on jobs and economy, and that is something that all americans are focused on. he is also committed to comprehensive immigration reform. and i know it as i have in the past that he hopes and believes that it will be at some point to return to the kind of bipartisan support for comprehensive immigration reform that we used to have in this country, led by his predecessor as president, republican george w. bush. and the republican nominee for president in the last election, john mccain, senator of arizona. so hopefully we can rebuild that kind of bipartisan support for comprehensive immigration reform, and if we do this president would very much like to see it passed. you have been asking.
>> i want to follow quickly on cheryl's china question and then i have another question. there's not that much -- [inaudible] boehner today said that the china currency bill could set off a trade war. so what i want to know is beyond the fact that the president is hoping concerns will be addressed in the future, is the president also concerned that applications could be a trade were? >> well, what the president is concerned about is what i just described, you know, there are issues here about compatibility, things to do with our international obligations. that's what we're talking to congress and continue to talk to congress. if this legislation were to advance, those issues would have to be addressed. the underlying goals of the legislation are things that we share, and we need, there needs to be a level playing field for our businesses and for our
workers. and china needs to address the undervaluation of its currency. [inaudible] >> i really, i have described what i think are pretty specific terms about our feelings and our approach to this. and we are continuing to work with members of congress on it. >> south korea, could you, with a trade back about, you know, about what are the most important outstanding issues that the president and south korean leader are going to be discussing? is a going to be focus on china? is going to be focused on north korea? and with regard to friday's business in detroit, is korea poised to make a guarantee that they're going to buy a certain number of u.s. cars? is there anything like that that you can preview for is why they chose, why you chose that plant?
>> well, let me start with, i'm glad you asked, this is a very important significant statement. it comes at a time that is really a high point in the bilateral relationship, and in our alliance with south korea. and it marks, you know, an alliance that has matured over the last two years into a partnership, building peace and prosperity globally. this establishment of a new economic partnership will create jobs and economic growth here in the u.s. as well as in korea, and we are very hopeful that congress as you said well i to approve the trade agreement and the president will sign it if congress does act. as far as friday goes, you've heard the president say many times that he wants, the fact that americans buy or are able to buy key is and how days here in united states is fine but he wants koreans as well as others
in other countries to be buying chevys, jeeps, ford's and other american cars, and to be able to do that. so i think the visit will highlight the trade agreement and the potential that the trade agreement creates for opportunities that american car companies will have to sell their products overseas. >> will it be a specific deal or agreement announced? >> i think the trade agreement is a pretty significant deal. last one, i promised you in the red. >> what does your, why do you think more -- [inaudible] >> well, as a nation, the iranian economy is not going for the first time in years. there's almost a sort of disarray economically in iran. the isolation that iran is under is apparent to anybody who is a
global observer our expert on the region. its closest ally, syrian president, syrian regime is under immense pressure because president assad has demonstrated he is no longer fit to lead in syria, and that is sentiment not just tell by this government but governments across the globe. you know, i think i read in isolation has never been so intense. and the pressure on iran has never been so intense. and we intend to continue to work with our international partners to ratchet that up. thanks. >> wrapping up today's white house briefing and now live to the floor of the u.s. senate where senators are debating three trade pacts for colombia, panama and south korea. live coverage of theio senate.
mr. bingaman: mr. president, today i introduced along with senator murkowski and 22 other senators the county payments reauthorization act of 2011. the bill would provide dependable fund to support public schools, transportation infrastructure, and other critical county programs in more than 1,900 counties in 49 states. specifically, it would continue to fund for five more years the payment in lieu of taxes program, and it would reauthorize the secure rural schools and community self-determination act, both of which expire at the end of september -- both of which expired at the end of september. let me correct that. i believe only the secure rural schools act expired at the end of september. economists have long said that
funding for local governments not only provides one of the most efficient and immediate ways to create jobs it also helps to ensure that the essential services on which economic growth depends are maintained. these programs have prove than point in recent years. they have been lifelines for financially strapped rural counties and the thousands of americans that they employ and that they contract with. they've employed a multitude of public school teachers, supported countless miles of county road projects, thousands of collaborative forest and watershed restoration projects, and paid for hundreds of community wildfire risk reduction programs in all parts of the country. i'd like to give one example from my home state of new mexico. many of you may know that the
wallow fire this summer grew to become the largest fire in the history of arizona. you may not know that its leading edge burned more than 15,000 acres into new mexico and it threatened the community of luna in katrin county, new mexico. when i visited the town of luna, the community's firefighters told me that the wildfire risk reduction projects they visited using funds from the program helped to save their town. the funds from this bill will fund many frodges help their local -- many projects to help their local forests and watersheds and many around new mexico to recover from the severe fires that burned there this summer. despite the important work this
these programs support, we recognize that funding these programs is not easy, given the financial circumstance we find ourselves in. we've worked for months to build this strong coalition in the senate and among the stakeholders in support of these programs across the country. in the process, there have been an array of differing views about the details of how these programs should be structured going forward. for example, some recognize the difficult financial situation in communities around the country and the urgent need to create jobs with significantly increased funding for these programs. others, recognizing the challenging fiscal situation that the federal government faces, would sharply reduce funding for these programs. some would shift the emphasis of the rural -- secure rural schools program to forestry projects such as those covered
by titles 2 and 3 of that program. and others would shift the emphasis to public schools and the road projects. most importantly, there has been broad agreement on the most critical issues. first there's broad agreement that funding for these two programs is immensely important. second, there's broad agreement that the only way for us to successfully continue that fund something for us to continue the successful compromise that we negotiated in 2008. congress overwhelmingly passed that compromise that has provided funding for these programs for the last four years and our communities have broadly supported t the alternative that seems to have become routine here in congress is to emphasize our differences and destroy the coalition of support that will be essential to continued funding of these programs. so i greatly appreciate the support and leadership of
senator murkowski and many others. let me just mention all of those who have helped with this and who are cosponsoring this effort. senator baucus, senator crapo, senator widen, senator risch, senator reid of nevada, senator cochran, senator tester, senator blunt, senator feinstein, senator heller, senator tom udall, senator boxer, senator cantwell, senator murray, senator bennet, senator merkley, senator sanders, senator johnson, senator begich, senator mccaskill and senator mark udall and senator al frank -7b, all of whom are cosponsoring this important legislation. i hope the rest of the senate will join us again to support the continuation of these important programs and enact this legislation. mr. president, i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president?
the presiding officer: the senator from ohio. mr. portman: mr. president, thank you. i'm happy to rise today to speak about the three trade agreements that are working their way over to the senate. at a time when unemployment is over 9% and we have over 14 million americans out of work, it's past time for us to take up these three important agreements. these agreements with korea, colombia, and panama are going to create jobs and put americans back to work. that's why it's so important we move and move hon a bipartisan basis to get them done. with 95% of consumers living outside of our borders, we need to proactively help american workers, farmers, service providers sell their products all around the world. the president himself has said that repeatedly. just last month he came to ohio and he said he wants to be sure that more products are stamped with the three proud words "made in america." i couldn't agree with him more. one way to do that to get these
trade agreements done. finally we have the opportunity to vote on it. this will help us to gain market access for u.s. workers to about 100 million consumers. unfortunately, while these agreements have been sitting on the shelf for over four years, our workers, our farmers, our service providers have lost market share. they've fallen behind other countries have completed agreements and their workers and their farmers, their service providers have gained market share that we should have had. according to the national association of manufacturers, by waiting for four years to take up these agreements, american workers have lost over $12 billion in wages. so i'm glad the agreements are here. they should have been here sooner. and, again, this, to me, should be a lesson that we learn as a united states congress, a united states senate. we need to have more agreements. we need to have them negotiated constantly on behalf of our businesses and our workers.
while we've waited for the president to submit these agreements to congress for a vote, other countries have moved forward, and they've gained footholds in other markets. the european union along with colombia and korea have put in place their own trade agreements. we finished our negotiations, they then began negotiations. they've ratified their agreements and are now in effect taking market share away from us. we've seen the u.s. market share be reduced in colombia and in korea because of these agreements. a good aims example would be our exports of agricultural products to colombia. we've seen them drop from 70% for corn, wheat, and soybean to less than 30%. just since completed the agreement with colombia because again the president did not send these agreements forward for ratification. we have been on the sidelines while farmers in my state and around the country have lost out.
we're falling behind in korea also. when we started discussing an agreement with korea, the united states was korea's biggest trading partner. since then, we've slid down the ladder, with china, japan, and the european union jumping ahead of us. in just over a decade, our share of korea's goods imports has fallen from 21% of their market to 9% of their market, while china's share of the korean market has increased from 7% to 17%. so we're now at 9%. china is now at 17%. this has happened, again, since we began negotiations or discussions about gulf of mexicos with korea -- about negotiations with korea. acs, these three together will create over 250,000 new jobs. conversely, according to the u.s. chamber of commerce, if we fail to move forward on these
agreements, we would lose 380,000 jobs. again, because we would lose market sthair we already have to these other countries that are negotiating agreements while we sit on the sidelines. the nonpartisan u.s. international trade commission says these three agreements will increase u.s. goods exports by nearly $13 billion each year. when i was a u.s. trade rernghts i had the privilege of launching the korea agreement. actually in a room right next to the chamber. that agreement is calle called . i did so with trade minister kim in february of 2006. at that time many people said this agreement would be very difficult to negotiate. some criticized us for launching it thinking this economy was too big, too complicated, we would not be able to dwom a meaningful -- to come to a meaningful agreement. but we took the chance because we saw the incredible potential that would drive great growth in the united states and u.s. job creation and also because of the
importance of the alliance with the republic of korea. turns out the skeptics were wrong. we have now the largest free trade agreement that this congress has looked at in almost two decades. korea is a vital market for u.s. exports already. it is america's seventh-largest trading partner, and their economy is now growing by more than 6% per year. korus eliminates tariffs on over 95% of u.s. exports of industrial and consumer goods to korea within the first five years of the agreement. the agreement's intellectual property right provision contains provisions for american intellectual property. extremely important for some of our service providers. it gives american companies access to crease $850 billion services market. america has a large trade surplus actually in services right now, both globally and with contrary, and this agreement will allow american
service companies that is right best in the world to expand and sell more products to a country of 48 million people. korus is spurted by the united autoworkers, united states chamber of commerce, and many other business and export-related groups. let pee read an excerpt if i could from the united autoworkers statement earlier this year about the korean agreement. "the trade agreement and related auto provisions will -- quote -- "protect current american rot owe gorks will grow american auto industry jobs, and includes labor and environmental commitments and has important enforcement mechanisms." the korus agreement opens an important market for farmers and ranchers as well. according to the international trade commission, korus will expand international trade exports to $3.8 billion per year. in my own state of ohio, korus along with panama and colombia
will increase agricultural exports impi nearly $55 million annually, just for ohio. koru slvment eventually phase out the 40% korean tariff on u.s. beef and eliminate the 5% tariff on soybeans resulting in 35*dz million annual increase in ohio. soybeans are the biggest export product in ohio. one out of every two acres in ohio is planted for soybean export. in ohio, over 25% of manufacturing jobs now depend on exports. over $31 billion of u.s. manufactured goods are exported to korea last year. in fact, korea was our fastest-growing export destination in the world. when american manufactured goods are exported to korea, they face an average tariff about 9%. with passage of this agreement this 9% tariff will fall to al jazeera row and in most cases immediately.
however, due to this agreement we talked about earlier between the european union and korea, e.u. exports to korea are now on the rise because more than 90% of their goods now enter korea duty-free. so again it is important tha that we move quickly to avoid losing market share. the cleveland plain dealer wrote an editorial that talked about the benefits of the korean agreement particularly for manufacturers and auto workers. it concluded by saying, quote, trade can drive recovery. this deal with a long-time ally will help." they are right. another important agreement is the u.s.-colombian trade promotion agreement. colombian is a growing economy to which the united states exported over $121 million in goods last year. this agreement with colombia is a clear victory for u.s. workers. due to preference programs that are already in place, over,,
nearly 90% of the exports from colombia to the united states come in duty-free. so we largely have a one-way free trade agreement with colombia already. due to these preference programs, this agreement will be a huge benefit to u.s. workers and u.s. businesses. because u.s. exports to colombia have faced an average tariff of about 14%. so historically 90% of theirs come in duty-free while ours face much higher tariffs when they enter colombia. this will fix that. it will assure that the trade is balanced. the agreement will lower the 14% average colombian tariff some zero allowing over 80% of u.s. consumer and industrial products to become duty-free immediately. the agreement also immediately eliminates duties on about 70% of u.s. farm exports including soybeans, wheat, barley,
wheat, flour and beef. it establishes new rules on nontariff barriers to trade, in other words not a higher tariff but other barriers the country, nontariff barriers that keep our products out. further it establishes new commitments on environment and labor, an area in which colombia is improving and proactively addressing. the agreement protects u.s. intellectual property with enhanceed protection for software and u.s. trademarks. finally we have an important agreement with colombia's latin american neighbor, panama, another key ally to the united states. panama is one of the fastest growing economies in latin america and $46 million in u.s. highway goods were exported to colombia last year. it's a vital strategic partner since nearly two-thirds of the panama canal's annual transits are from or to u.s. ports. moreover, the $5 billion panama canal expansion project presents
unique opportunities for american exporter. one example, r rockwell's in northeast ohio they produce controllers and automation systems that open and close the door of the panama canal locks and divert the water. they're bidding on more work in panama. however they say they are currently working with one hand tied behind their back because their competitors have an advantage because we don't have a trade agreement. so this panamanian export agreement will help companies like rockwell by cutting tariffs, protecting intellectual property and giving investment certainty. upon entry, panama will immediately eliminate exports of consumer and industrial goods and more than half of agricultural exports, 85% of exporters to panama are small and medium sized companies. that's over 7,000 american small and medium size companies that export to panama and will thus benefit from this agreement. a couple other ohio products,
step two company headquartered in streetsboro, hoisk, they employ over 800 ohioans and like to export to korea and panama and they want the advantage of these agreements. lincoln electrics, 3,000 employees in euclid, in northeast ohio. these agreements don't dlus just help lincoln electric export more. they also will help lincoln's customers export more. another is pro tech coating near find lay, ohio. they -- findlay, ohio. they create steel for u.s. automakers. the korean agreement will open a big potential market for u.s. auto exports which will help companies to get her business and protech is one. gorilla glue, one of my favorite companies in
cincinnati, ohio, my hometown, has 100 employees and export their adhesives and tapes to panama and korea. they want this agreement because they'll expand their exports and great nor jobs in cincinnati. while these agreements bring large economic benefits those responsible for our national security also recognize the go owe political benefits of building economic ties with key regional allies. in testimony earlier this year the senate armed services committee, general douglas frazier, command of the u.s. southern command described the colombian agreement as "a positive aspect for our cooperation, because of the growing capabilities of armed services and law enforcement." the importance of an effort that leverages all elements of national power to protect our interests overseas. secretary panetta affirmed this role with increased economic
ties having a beneficial impact on national security, using colombia as a prime example of a key ally in a continent with ever changing political dine an ition. when it comes to national security there is no question the role panama plays. with 20% of our trade to each passing through panama it will signal our commitment to engaging with central america. when president obama submitted these agreements to congress last week, he said, and i quote, "the agreements i'm submitting to congress today will make it easier for american companies to sell their products and provide a major boost to our exports. these agreements will support tens of thousands of jobs across our country." while these agreements are late, the president is right. these are important job creating and export opening agreements. they have strong support from members of both parties and importantly are supported by american workers and businesses. again, the lesson we should learn here is we need to give
the president the authority he has yet to ask for to negotiate further agreements because in these last four years, while these agreements have been pending, while the president has not sent them during his administration and prior to that when president bush was blocked by the house from moving them forward, we have not been negotiating additional agreements. i'm told there are over 100 bilateral trade agreements being negotiated right now. the united states is not a party to any of them. that's not acceptable. because we're losing out our workers, our service providers, our farmers are losing out and we're not going to be able to have the sustained recovery we all hoped for unless we flaij more in these international -- engage more in these international markets. i commend those who have been patient, persistent and even passionate in promoting these agreements over the years. when i was u.s. trait representative i worked closely with -- with then-chairman grassley, with chairman baucus, with senator hatch and others on the finance committee to promote these agreements.
those senators are to be commended today. we'll hear a lot from senator baucus and senator hatch on the floor i'm sure about the importance of these agreements but i want to underscore the key role they played early on in ensuring these agreements could be here before us today. i commend the staff of the finance committee who have worked tirelessly over the years to ensure we could be here with this opportunity today. other senators who played a key 0 role, senator blunt, senator kerry and others who i should be naming but i'm not, to make sure that we have this opportunity to move our country forward by enacting these agreements. finally, i want to thank the dedicated staff at the office of the u.s. trade representative who made these agreements possible. i had the privilege to lead this nimble and effective agency composed the of spub servants to ensure we get a fair shake. they balance this challenge with enforcing our international
trade laws which is also a part of the mix. we need to expand exports and open markets and ensure trade is fair, that we're enforcing the international standards and u.s. laws with regard to trade. they do it very well. without our negotiators' commitments to resolving complex and controversial economic issues, we would also not be here today so i commend them. for all those professionals with whom i've had the honor to serve and for those who are there now, serving under ambassador ron kirk who has been a strong promotor of these agreements i thank you for your efforts. finally, i want to urge my colleagues who are on the fence and some have talked to me to take a strong look at the economic and geopolitical benefits of these agreements. we don't do much around here that's bipartisan these days. and yet we have cawnt that's crying out for it. this is an example of where we can come together as republicans and democrats, realizing that with 14 million americans out of work, we need to do things to move our economy forward. this is a clear example where we
can indeed take steps that are bipartisan, where we have a consensus to be able to create jobs taunt in the united states of america. -- opportunity in the united states of america. thank you, mr. president. i yield back. the presiding officer: the senator from pennsylvania is recognized. mr. casey: i rise this afternoon to speak for a couple of moments about the three pending trade agreements that the senate is considering, those with south korea, panama, and colombia. and i want to start by highlighting what i believe the american people are most concerned about right now, certainly the people that i represent in the commonwealth of pennsylvania. wherever i go, other than sending us a message that they want to us work together to solve problems, that they confront in their lives, the number-one issue, the number-one priority for them in terms of the work we can and should be doing and thanksfully
are starting to move forward on is a series of steps to improve the job market. and to reduce the unemployment rate. we have as we've so often said more than 14 million americans out of work. in pennsylvania we were on the way last year of lowering that rate and that number substantially. we went from approaching 600,000 people out of work to going below 500,000. now, unfortunately, the number has shot back up to above 500,000 people out of work. so the number-one issue bar none is jobs, and that's why this debate about trade and these agreements is so important. so jobs are the key consideration for americans. they should be the key consideration for us. and they are in short, the biggest challenge we have. so we need to ask a series of questions and i have at least three major questions about these trade agreements, but all
center on that issue of jobs. more recently we've had -- we've had a series of debates just in the last couple of weeks which i think have been pretty instructive on both jobs and on efforts to achieve bipartisanship. we had a significant period of time we spent on the trade adjustment assistance legislation. i was one of the leaders of that and thankfully we were able to pass trade adjustment assistance to help workers who are displaced by unfair trade and in many cases have tremendous challenges getting from here to there, getting from a position of joblessness because of unfair trade to training and education and preparation for a new job or a new career. we also just completed debate about china's currency policy. we know that our recent history proves that when china cheats on its currency, which it has over a long period of time, when they cheat on their currency we lose american jobs.
so the senate spoke in a loud voice, in a bipartisan way, to indicate that -- that we're overdue, that it is long past time to get tough with china. if they're going to cheat, there will be consequences when they cheat on their currency. so we've had some interesting debates, and we've focused on jobs and we've focused on working together. finally let me make a point before i get to the three basic questions i have. we just released a report today, the joint economic committee, a committee that i chair, the report is entitled "nowhere to go, geographic and occupational immobility and free trade." it's dated today, october 12, and i'd ask unanimous consent that this report dated october 12 by the joint economic committee be entered into the record. the presiding officer: without objection, it will be included in the record. mr. casey: thank you, mr. president. i won't go through the whole
report but here's the conclusion, and i'm quoting from page 4 -- i'm sorry, quoting from the conclusion of the report itself. "given the already high national unemployment rate, and depressed home values still evident in most states, policies that seek to liberalize trade may impose even larger costs on older workers and workers that don't have college education, and therefore bolstering the need for additional investments in training or other forms of trade adjustment assistance." so when people lose their jobs, as a result of unfair trade and because of the ravages of what happens in the international marketplace, what happens to an individual, to a company, to a community, if they are -- if they are older workers and if they don't have an education level that's commensurate with allowing them to adjust and to be able to respond to those
traumatic changes, they will be much worse off. and i think that's why these trade agreements are so important to debate. now, we have limited time for debate, and we have limited time for full consideration, but i think we're going to have a number of hours to put some questions on the table. the the first question i have is will these agreements -- will these trade agreements -- protect and create jobs in pennsylvania, the state that i represent, and across the country? we know that manufacturing is the core or the -- probably the most important part of our job-creation analysis. if we're making things, producing goods, engaged in advanced manufacturing, the new manufacturing that we're seeing all over the country, if we're doing that at high levels and with big job numbers, we're moving in the right direction. but, unfortunately, economic policies and trade policies have inhibited and badly damaged our
ability to create manufacturing jobs. i know that in pennsylvania, manufacturing is especially critical to what is still the largest source of jobs in the commonwealth of pennsylvania. that sector of our economy. the benefits to manufacturing jobs, of course, extend beyond individual companies, individual businesses. the economic benefits of a strong manufacturing sector are experienced throughout the economy. they have a ripple effect, multipliers beyond just this company. in pennsylvania, according to research commissioned by the pennsylvania industrial resource centers, for every $1 demand for products manufactured, that leads to a gain in gross value of $2.52. so $1 in by way of manufacturing and $2.52 in return. furthermore, manufacturing jobs create and support middle-income
families. we know the wage level is higher. therefore, those families can benefit tremendously. in 2008, average annual compensation of a worker in the manufacturing sector was over $65,000. on an annual basis. the average pay for the rest of the workforce was $10,000 less. each good-paying job in the country allows for more money to flow back into the economy. we know that. and given the importance of protecting these crucial -- or critical, i should say, manufacturing jobs, we must ask ourselves, will the trade agreements with south korea, colombia, and panama create jobs, especially in the manufacturing sector? unfortunately, the answer to that question is "no." and all we need to do is lunge at the history. this isn't theory. all we need to do is look at history. trade-related job expansion has been an unfulfilled promise.
in 1993, the united states entered into the north american free trade agreement which promised to deliver hundreds of thousands of jobs across the united states. those gains were not realized, and especially in a state like pennsylvania. from 1993 to 2002, 525,094 workers were certified as displaced under nafta, according to the department of labor. overly optimistic job-creation estimates were not the only flawed projection fat. the leaders suggested that nafta would expand deed manned for american exports. that never came to be. in 1993, the united states had a small trade surplus with mexico. let me say that word again. we had a in our trade with mexico. by 2010, just 17 years later, according to the census bureau
statistics, we had amass add trade deficit of $66.4 billion with mexico. our trade relationship with canada tells the same story, a widening trade deficit from $10 billion in 1993 to $28.5 billion in 2010. so we know -- and everyone knows -- this: that a trade deficit does lead to job losses. in pennsylvania we've seen a dramatic dlien in manufacturing employment since nafta, since it was implemented, losing a total of 308,800 manufacturing jobs. that's one state in that time period. so more than 300,000 jobs lost just in pennsylvania. with this experience, we need to fake a close look at the government's projection for the pending agreements that are before us right now. while the international trade commission predicts our
bilateral trade with korea will improve, the total u.s. trade deficit is predicted to get larger, which if past experience any gauge, will mean job losses, not job gains. according to the international trade commission, the agreement with colombia means, i'm emoting here, "there is likely to be minimal to no effect on output or employment for most sectors in the u.s. economy." unquote. that's according to the international trade commission. about the panama agreement, the same commission concluded that the impact of the free trade agreements would -- quote -- "likely be small because of the small size of the panamanian market relative to u.s. trade and production." unquote. simply put, even the always optimistic international trade commission does not see these agreements as job-creating can
measures. that's question number one, a direct question on jobs. question number two: will this agreement create a level playing field? i would assert the answer is "no" to that question. panama, while a very small economy, has one advantage to lure foreign investments: it remains a tax haven for companies that incorporate within its borders. as recently as 2009, panama was listed on all major tax haven lists maintained by the organization for economic cooperation and development, the so-called oecd. global forum on tax acres the national bureau for economic research and the i.r.s. service, while the tax information exchange agreement signed since then may address these issues, this same sourcing, the organization for economic cooperation and development, has yet to evaluate whether panamanian law will alou for
effective enforcement pursuant to these agreements. given lack of definitive progress, i am concern nad the panama trade deal remains silent on this very basic issue. let me move to the question of what happens as it relates to colombia on this basic question about a level playing field. according to -- i should say, additionally, as it relates to colombia, despite efforts to move that country toward a regime that tolerates workers' rights, colombia remains one of the most dangerous places in the world for union workers to be working. while it has been greeted with great fanfare, nothing in the labor -- so-called labor action plan negotiated between the u.s. and the colombian government, nothing has required closmia to establish -- colombia to establish a measurable system for enforcement of these labor rights prior to ratification ors implement facing of the
agreement. in fact colombia -- colombian companies can skirt many of the provisions in the so-called action plan. for example, by forcing new hires to sign a pledge offering higher salaries based upon a number of conditions, including not joining a union. given the weakness of this plan, it is not surprising that violence against union workers remains commonplace in colombia. 22 union members and organizers have been killed in colombia this year, six catholic priests known for working for the rights of the poor have also been targeted for anation this year, leading the catholic bishops conference of colombia to call for protection of its clear jeevment imagine that. union workers and priests needing protection in a country like colombia. additionally, a june 8 study by the international trade union
confederation condemned the ongoing problems for labor organizers in colombia. one simple comparison speaks volumes. in total, 49 union members were murdered in colombia in the year 2010. 49 people. all other countries combined had 41 crimes of this kind. i don't think that needs anymore emphasis. mr. president, i am going to move now to a couple of comments as it relates to this level playing field question, as it relates to south korea. we scwhrus a long debate here over a number of debates, and a good debate and a good consensus son a bipartisan basis as it relates to china's currency policy. and i believe we took a positionive step forward in passing through the senate a bipartisan bill to get tough with china when they cheat on their currency.
all the while we didn't say much about another country that has had currency problems, and that's south korea. we know that they have their own record on currency, and i am troubled by south korea's current -- or by south korea's currency manipulation over time. they've devalued their currency at least in very specific time periods that we're aware of, at least twice. once in 1998 and once in 1988. the most recent treasury report, the report to congress on international economic and exchange rate policies -- a long fame noname for a currency repo. this voter dated 2011. it noted that south korea intervened heavily in its currency market during the financial crisis and has continued uninterrupted since. so it has a history but it also has -- we also have current information, current evidence,
recent evidence that south korea has been intervening heavily in its currency market. treasury urged -- urged -- south korea to -- quote -- "a. dopt a greater agree of exchange rate flexibility and less intervention." i any we could get a little tougher than that be a little more direct, and maybe have some consequences. but that's the stepts that the treasury is willing to go. so as we debate a trade agreement with a major country like south korea, we ought to know something about their currency policies. especially in the aftermath of bipartisan currency legislation as it relates to china. i am pleased that the senate has passed this currency legislation this past week, and we're all hoping that the house of representatives will move quickly to consideration and passage of the currency legislation. but we should not be entering into a draid trade agreement with south korea at a time when
we know that their exrency policies are at best suspect and i think worse than that. finally, mr. president, let me lead to the last question of the three. the third question i have is, does the agreement provide new opportunities for manufacturers in pennsylvania as well as other states to export their goods? the benefits of the agreements with south korea, colombia, and panama have been in my judgment overstated, while the risks have been largely ignored. rather than opening a new market for pennsylvania farmers or pennsylvania manufacturers, i fear that the benefits to the united states are likely to be minimal at bevment there are specific reasons that the south korea deal fails to deliver for pennsylvania exporters as well. first, the most recent benefits are based upon an overopt police stick projection for agriculture. these projections compiled by
supporters of the agreementssume that a cult in tariffs will immediately equal a growth in market share. we know from past experience that asian markets, including south korea, have come up with a host of unjustified if, nontariff restrictions, to keep u.s. goods particularly beef out of their country. these barriers to free trade are likely to limit export potential and are largely unaddressed in the agreement. there are other troubling clauses as well dealing with, in this case, the beef industry. the south korea agreement will allow american beef passagers to use canadian or mexican cattle and then export the passaged mexican and/or canadian beef as -- quote -- "american" -- unquote -- beef. this policy, while great for beef passagers, undercuts u.s. ranchers. another problem with the korea
deal is the -- is which goods will qualify for the -- quote -- "made in south korea" -- unquote -- that designation or sticker, which will qualify for that? and if they have that, they're allowed to enter the u.s. duty-freevment under the rules of origin in annex 6-a of the agreement, 65% of the value of many goods, including all, ship duty-free to the u.s. can come from outside. just imagine this -- outside of south korea and still be considered -- quote -- "made in south korea" -- unquote that. defies description. it is totally inconsistent at best and contradictory for sure. this standard is lower than the european union's agreement, where only 55% of content can be foreign. and once again places our companies at a comparative disadvantage to international competition.
furthermore, this policy opens the door for products primarily made from chinese parts to enter the u.s. duty-free. that makes no sense at all. earlier i posed these questions. the first i posed was, will these agreements create a substantial number of new jobs in they will not. if previous agreements are any indication at all, the south korea, colombia and panama agreements will not create jobs in the way that they're projected to and will in fact lead to job losses, especially in manufacturing. the second question: will the assessment -- i'm sorry. will the agreements help create a level playing field? they will not. the agreements fail to address critical issues like violence against union members as well as currency manipulation by, for example, south korea. the third question: does the
agreement provide new opportunities for american manufacturers to export? proponents have overstated the benefits. certain industries and firms are likely to benefit for sure, while others will not. while it is clear that in its failure to address nontariff barriers to trade, the agreement leaves american firms unprotected on an unlevel playing field. so, mr. president, finally based upon this set of questions and more importantly the answer to those questions, i will vote against the agreements with south korea, panama and colombia. it's my job as a united states senator from pennsylvania to fight for pennsylvania jobs. and for too long the needs and the concerns and the jobs of pennsylvania workers have been last on the list when it doms trade agreements. the fact is that past trade agreements have failed pennsylvania and our work erbgs and i refuse to support new
foreign trade agreements without reasonable debate and adequate answers for the questions that i posed, and especially as it relates to jobs and the impact on workers. so instead of moving ahead quickly with what is a broken model, we need to focus on the bigger picture: formulating a strategy that helps american manufacturers which leads to job creation and creates a stronger middle class. we need a trade policy in the united states of america. we don't have one right now, and we need one that's bipartisan in nature. to make real sustained progress, washington needs to have a strategy. we must develop and commit ourselves to a national manufacturing strategy as part of a trade policy that includes job-creating trade agreements, not job-killing trade agreements. manufacturing is the heart and soul of our commonwealth and our country. our future success depends on
developing policies that allow our people to create and compete -- to create jobs and to compete in the global production of goods. i know our workers are up to it if we give them the tools, agreements and policies to do that, they will outcompete any country in the world. mr. president, i would yield the floor. mr. sanders: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from vermont. mr. sanders: let me begin by concurring with much of what pennsylvania has said. i think he is right on. and like him, i rise today in strong opposition to the unfettered free trade agreements with korea, colombia and panama. mr. president, let's be clear, one of the major reasons why the middle class in america is disappearing and why poverty is increasing and why the gap between the very wealthy and
everybody else is growing wider is directly related to our disastrous, unfettered free trade policy. if the united states is to remain a major industrial power, producing real products and creating good-paying jobs, we cannot continue the failed unfettered free trade policies that have been in existence for the last 30 years. we need to develop trade policies -- i know this is a radical idea -- that work for working people and not just the c.e.o.'s of large corporations. what we must do is rebuild our manufacturing sector and once again create millions of good-paying jobs where workers are producing real products made in the united states of america.
mr. president, over the last decade, more than 50 thousand manufacturing plants in this country have shut down. let me repeat that. in the last decade, more than 50,000 factories in this country have shut down. over 5.5 million factory jobs have disappeared. back in 1970, 25% of all jobs in the united states were manufacturing jobs, often paying workers a living wage, decent benefits, pensions. today that figure is down to just 9%. in july of 2000, there were 17.3 million manufacturing workers in this country. today there are only 11.7 million. mr. president, according to a recent study conducted by the
well-respected economists at the economic policy institute, permanent normal trade relations with china has led to the loss of 2.8 million jobs. in fact, the united states has lost an average of about 50,000 manufacturing jobs per month since china joined the world trade organizations in 2001. now, i was in the house of representatives when pntr with china was passed, and i can remember all of the fine speeches from the president on down, republicans, democrats, permanent normal trade relations with china is going to open up that great market, going to create millions of jobs in america. it wasn't true. free trade with china ended up
costing us 2.8 million jobs. and you don't have to be an economist to understand that. all you have to do is walk into any department store in america and buy a product, and you know where that product is made. it's not made in the united states of america. it's made in china. and we all now understand what that trade agreement was about. it was not to open markets in china for american products. it was to open china so corporations in this country could shut down here, throw workers out on the street and move there in order to pay workers pennies an hour. that's what those trade agreements are about. and, mr. president, there is no doubt in my mind, certainly to a much lesser degree because these are smaller trade agreements, that the trade agreements with korea, panama, and colombia will continue that same process.
mr. president, the united states department of commerce has reported that over the last decade u.s. multinational corporations slashed 2.9 million american jobs. now the biggest advocate of unfettered free trade of nafta with mexico, of pntr with china, of these trade agreements is corporate america, the chamber of commerce, the national association of manufacturing. they spend huge sums of money on lobbying, campaign contributions in order to make congress vote for these great trade agreements. and yet let me repeat, over the last decade these very same corporations that want us to pass these disastrous trade agreements slashed 2.9 million
american jobs. furthermore, what we have learned is that during that same period of time -- and here's the kicker -- these same corporations have created 2.4 million jobs. the only problem is those jobs were created in china, mexico, and other low-wage countries. so, mr. president, what we have here is that the key advocates who are continuing this disastrous trade policy are precisely the people who have been slashing jobs in america, closing down factories, and hiring people abroad. and i would suggest that members of the senate might want to think twice about listening to the advice of people who have been laying off millions of american workers. and oddly enough, again, we have one of the leading advocates for
these disastrous trade agreements. it's the chamber of commerce. some years ago the chamber of commerce, to their credit, were pretty up front. they said outsourcing is a good idea. they recommended to american corporations, shut down in america, move abroad, it's good for your stockholders. do you really want to take the advice of people who believe that outsourcing and throwing american workers out on the street is a good idea? i don't think so. mr. president, today we're hearing all this talk about how these trade agreements are going to create new jobs. we heard it before. it's the same old movie. the american people understand that it's a bad movie. it's an unfactual movie. during the clinton administration, we were told by republicans and democrats and then president clinton that nafta would create 100,000 american jobs over a two-year period. that's what we were told about
nafta. well, results are in about nafta. instead of creating 100,000 american jobs, the economic policy institute has found that nafta destroyed more than 682,000 american jobs, including the loss of 150,000 computer and electronic jobs. now, i don't understand why when you have a policy that has failed and failed and failed, why you want to continue that policy. football teams who have coaches with losing records get rid of those coaches. when we have a trade policy which has resulted in millions of american workers losing their jobs, you don't continue that same philosophy. mr. president, the issue here is not just mexico and nafta. it's not just pntr with china.
it is obviously what is going to happen with the trade agreements that are before us today: korea, panama, colombia. mr. president, the economic policy institute has estimated that the korea free trade agreement will lead to the loss of 159,000 american jobs and will increase the trade deficit by nearly $14 billion over a seven-year period. why would you want to go forward on the, those ideas? why would you want to go forward with a trade agreement that will increase our trade deficit? president obama has estimated that the korea free trade agreement will -- quote -- "support at least 70,000 american jobs," but the headline of a december 7, 2010, article in "the new york times" says it all. and they say -- and i quote -- "few new jobs expected soon from
free trade agreement with south korea." according to this article, the korea free trade agreement -- quote -- "is likely to result in little if any net job creation in the short run, according to the government's own analysis." mr. president, let me touch on one particular aspect of the korea free trade agreement that i find especially troubling, and i think the american people, to the degree they understand this and learn about it, will also find troubling, and that is that this particular free trade agreement will force american workers to compete not just against the low-wage workers in china or vietnam or mexico. they're going to be forced to compete against the virtual slave labor that exists in north korea, the most undemocratic country in the world and a country itself whose government will financially benefit from
this agreement with the dictatorship of kim jong-il. mr. president, we all know that under current law the u.s. has an embargo on all north korea goods for a very good reason. workers in north korea are the most brutalized in the world, have virtually no democratic rights and are the mercy of the most vicious dictator in the world. but if the south korea free trade agreement is signed into law, the united states would have a new obligation to allow south korean products to come in to our country tariff-free that contain major parts made by north korean workers who make pennies an hour. according to a january 2011 report from the congressional research service -- and i quote -- "there is nothing to prevent south korean firms from performing intermediate manufacturing operations in north korea and then performing final manufacturing processes in
south korea." in other words, there's a huge industrial park in north korea. south korean companies own that park. workers there are paid horrendously low wages, and some of those wages go right to the north korean government. products made in that industrial park in north korea will go to south korea and then will come back into the united states as part of that so-called free trade agreement. today, over 47,000 north korean workers are currently employed by more than 120 south korean firms, including hyundai at the casing industrial complex in north korea. this facility is located just six miles north of the demilitarized zone with direct road and rail access to south korea and just an hour's drive away from seoul. these north korean workers officially make a minimum wage of 35 cents an hour, but they
actually make much less than that. instead of paying these workers directly, hyundai and the other south korean firms pay the north korean government. how's that? south korean companies, major companies, pay the north korean government. they take a piece of the action, going to the most undemocratic, vicious dictatorship in the world. products then go to south korea. and then they are part of the free trade agreement with south korea. in 2007, the then-prime minister of south korea and is now the current south korean ambassador to the united states said, and i quote -- "the planned ratification of the south korea-u.s. free trade agreement will pave the way for the export of products bailed in kaison, north korea into the u.s. market." end of quote. what we have now is american
workers forced to compete against desperate people all over the world who are making a tiny fraction of the wages that are paid in america, forced to compete against countries where there are no environmental standards, where workers, unions are not recognized or respected, but now it gets even worse. american workers are now being forced to compete against the virtual slave labor in north korea as part of this trade agreement. mr. president, what about the colombia free trade agreement? it is understandable why the c.e.o.'s of multinational corporations would like this free trade agreement. after all, colombia is one of the most antiunion countries on the planet. since 1986, over 2,800 trade unionists have been assassinated in colombia, more than the rest of the world combined. mr. president, think about it for a moment. we found out that 50 c.e.o.'s have been assassinated last year
in colombia instead of 50 trade union leaders. do you really think we would be on the verge of approving a free trade agreement with that country? frankly, i don't think so. and lastly, let me just say a brief word about panama and the panama free trade agreement. panama's entire annual economic output is only $26.7 billion a year or about .2% of the u.s. economy. no one can legitimately make the claim that approving this free trade agreement will significantly increase american jobs. then why would we be considering a stand-alone free trade agreement with panama? well, it turns out that panama is a world leader when it comes to allowing wealthy americans and large corporations to evade u.s. taxes by stashing their cash in offshore tax havens. and the panama free trade agreement will make this bad
situation much worse. each and every year, the wealthiest people in our country and the largest corporations evade about $100 billion in u.s. taxes through abusive and illegal offshore tax havens in panama and in other countries. according to citizens for tax justice, and i quote -- a tax haven has one of three characteristics. it has no income tax or a very low rate income tax. it has bank secrecy laws, and it has a history of noncooperation with other countries on exchanging information about tax matters. panama has all three of those. they are probably the worst. and that's end of quote from the citizens for tax justice. so, mr. president, let me conclude, i will be back on the floor later on to amplify on these remarks, but let me just
conclude by saying this. if you go out to any community in america and you ask people in those communities, especially working people, and you say do you think our current free trade agreements, nafta, permanent normal trade relations with china, have worked? have they been creating jobs in your community or have you seen factories shut down? i will suspect that in almost every instance, people will say -- and this is what the polls tell us -- is that these free trade agreements are not working for american workers, they are costing us jobs. that's what the american people understand to be true because it is true. so it seems to me that when you have a history of failed trade policies, policies that have enabled and encouraged large corporations to shut down in this country and move abroad, it is insane to continue that
policy if you are serious about creating jobs in america, rebuilding a manufacturing sector and trying to address the crises facing the middle class today. we need new trade policies. trade unto itself is a good idea. everybody believes in trade. but you need trade policies that are designed to help ordinary working people and not just wealthy c.e.o.'s, and i feel very strongly that the policies that we are debating today, trade policies like korea, panama and colombia are nothing more than extensions of disastrous trade policies of the past. they should be defeated. we should come together and develop new preches to trade which benefit all of our people and not just our c.e.o.'s of multinational corporations. with that, mr. president, i would yield the floor and note the absence of a quorum.
the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call: mr. sessions: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from arkansas. alabama. mr. sessions: good guess. i would ask that the quorum call be suspended. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. sessions: thank you. it's great to be with the senator from washington presiding. senator sanders is raising some questions about our trade policy. i do believe that we need to examine our trade policy more
carefully. as i have said in the last few days, i have supported a legislation that would curtail china's ability to manipulate its currency to gain a trade advantage over us, that we need to defend our legitimate interest as a nation, and that trade agreements are not a religious thing with me. i think some of the free traders , i accuse them of believing it's a religious thing. that whatever you do that furthers trade even if we are at a disadvantage, somehow it's still better for us to sign these agreements, and that we should just do this and don't worry about it. cancer will be cured, peace will occur in the world, we will all be better friends and things will happen good. so things do tend to happen good when you have a trading
relationship with the nation. i will support all three of these trade agreements, but i believe it's healthy to have senators to examine and to make sure are these really the kind of agreements that advance our national interests, is this the kind of trading partner that we feel comfortable signing an agreement with, will they honor it? and do we have process pects for improved trade over the years that could help both of our countries? because any business that does business with another business presumes that it will be beneficial to them, and the other company that agreed to do business with this other company, they assume this will be good for them, and certainly any kind of contract, any kind of agreement that's a legitimate agreement of value benefits both parties, and that is very
achievable, and it can be achievable in the trade world. i believe that with regard to colombia, with regard to south korea and panama, we have reason to believe that they will be good trading partners. colombia is the longest democracy in south america. they had to go for over a decade dealing with a narcotrafficking communist guerrilla force, and we were able to help them and help them defeat their enemy, and they are now prospering, they have elections that the congress is doing a good job, they are honoring their agreements, and the people of colombia are positive about the people in the united states. i have been there and i appreciate that. as a native of alabama and on the gulf coast, it's a direct
shot south to colombia. we have every reason to believe that we could have a positive trade relationship with colombia. panama is much smaller, but they have done well. a lot of people doubted their ability to function successfully as a government. i think panama has been doing very well, and they believe in trade and want to be trading partners, good partners, i think, although all of these will have to be watched. and south korea is one of our best allies in the world. we have huge amounts of soldiers there and basing in korea. we do many things together. korea has invested billions of dollars in the united states of america. the hyundai plant that makes sonata automobiles, one of the most popular automobiles in america today, is in montgomery, alabama. 3,000 workers plus suppliers, additional suppliers throughout
there. many of these are korean companies that have invested here in hiring alabamians, americans to work in their plant. they do this around the country. they are honorable. they sign agreements, and you can expect them as well or better than most nations to adhere to it. they are disciplined people, they have integrity, they are smart and well educated and allies, strategic allies. so in each one of these agreements, it's my best judgment that it will be beneficial to us. for example, with regard to colombia, under the andean trade agreement, basically they can import products into the united states with no duty for the most part, but this agreement is critical to them reducing their tariffs on the products that we
ship to colombia. and colombia buys a lot of our products. they are one of the best customers we have in all of south america. they have a positive view of the united states, and i have a very positive view of colombia. so i guess my thoughts on these treaties would be this. gentlemen, i think in each one of these, the agreements have been negotiated sufficiently well to ensure that we'll have a beneficial relationship. it will help us be more economically strong than we would be if we did not have these agreements. we're in a world economy, it makes no sense to me to think that we could just build a wall around the united states and stop trade from occurring. that does not make sense to me. but i do believe that each and every trade agreement has to be
carefully considered. we need to be sure that we have the mechanisms in place to assure those with whom we agree to trade will follow a fair trade, it will follow the terms of the contract and otherwise follow the requirements of a decent trading partner. i believe all three of these companies will do that. i think all three of these companies represent decent governments. all three of these countries are allies of the united states. and with regard to all three of these countries, i believe that the signing of these treaties will enhance our economic vitality and will be good for us. i would suggest, however, that it's not going to be an overnight boom. trading is a two-way street. we will have economic advantage,
and that's sufficient to me. a lot of it will be felt over decades. it has been said by someone -- i see my friend senator mccain. he probably could remember who said it. there has never been a war between two countries, both of which have a mcdonald's. i don't know if that's accurate anymore or not, but most of the wars we get into are countries that are isolated, backward, don't have connections to the outer world, they are insular, and trade can reduce the chance of war and hostile relations between nations, and it can build positive relations. so from that point of view, mr. president, i think that these trade agreements that i can support, i believe my colleagues if they analyze them will reach the same.
we are showing substantial increases in our exports to all three of these, and i do believe our exports would increase more with these agreements if they are ratified. i thank the chair and would yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senator from arizona. mr. mccain: i ask unanimous consent, mr. president, for the senator from ohio, senator brown, to follow my four hours of remarks. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mccain: mr. president, i support ratification of the free trade agreements that we are debating. they are long overdue. they are important to job creation in this country.
while we have waited around, these countries have concluded free trade agreements with other countries, and much to the detriment of american exports. the best example that i can give you is several years ago, 40% of the imports of agricultural products into colombia were from the united states of america. today, only 20% of their agricultural imports are from the united states because while we have been waiting, colombia has concludeed free trade agreements with other nations which have given them access to their markets which we were not able to expanned. one of the ironies of all this is that thanks to a rather complicateed process that took place during president clinton's
administration, the andean trade preferences agreements basically resulted that there was tariffs on u.s. goods going into colombia, but no tariff on colombian goods coming into the united states. but why i'm here is because what has been really unremarked on and was really outrageous about this whole process we have been through is the over roughly 1.3 billion in these times of physical difficulties that are going to be spent on the so-called t.a.a., trade adjustment assistance. i'd like to remind my colleagues that the t.a.a. was adopted in order to satisfy many of the concerns of labor and others at the time of the passage of other
free trade agreements, and like other government programs, it has grown and grown and grown and grown. spending on the trade adjustment assistance. by the way, this is supposed to be for individuals, and originally at least they are individuals who have lost their jobs as a result of jobs going to the country which free trade agreements were entered into. in 2006, it was $735 million. 2007, $779 million, and 2008, $791 million. but following the so-called stimulus package, which was supposed to be temporary, the stimulus was supposed to be temporary, it ballooned up to $1.1 billion.
additionally, according to the department of labor, commerce allocated more than $975 million to fund other t.a.a. services, including $575 million for job training. in all the annual t.a.a. spending for the stimulus expansions total approximately $2 billion. and three weeks ago the congress passed an agreement to reauthorize t.a.a. through 2014. this paved wait for these free trade agreements to be considered today. and the agreement pares back some of the expansions from the 2009 stimulus and funds the program somewhere between the prestimulus and post stimulus levels. this -- quote -- "compromise -- which by the way was negotiated by republicans in the house of representatives. this compromise will increase the annual t.a.a. spending by at
least $460 million above the prestimulus levels that it was before the stimulus and before 20127 and 20 -- 2012 and 2013. the total cost to taxpayers for the deal to be considered by the senate will be $1.3 billion through 2014. so, according to the heritage foundation the t.a.a. spending legislation passed by this body three weeks ago, and it does the following according to the heritage foundation. it kept the 2009 stimulus expansion for service sector workers. the stimulus, by the way, was supposed to be temporary. t.a.a. was originally intended to provide income maintenance and job training to workers from the manufacturing sector. the stimulus bill expanded eligibility to include workers from the service and public sectors. its expansion expired in
february, but the agreement restored t.a.a. eligibility for service sector workers. restored the stimulus expansion of benefits for job losses that are unrelated to free trade agreements. the agreement retained the stimulus expansion providing t.a.a. benefits to any workers who lost their jobs to overseas production, not just t.a.a. certified jobs that were lost to free trade agreements. it reinstated the stimulus as 160% increase in t.a.a. for workers job training spending. the proposal cemented the stimulus spending expansion of t.a.a. worker job training at $575 million a year from $220 million, an increase of $355 million a year. and it continued the stimulus creation of a new and duplicative job training program. the agreement kept the t.a.a. community college and career
training program which will dole out $2 billion over the years 2011 and 2014. this program calls out for reform. the t.a.a. calls for benefits for displaced workers who need the benefits. the testimony before the house ways and kphaoepbs committee -- means committee, june 14, 2007, the deputy assistant secretary of labor called on congress to take the opportunity to improve the current t.a.a. program to help workers gain the skills needed to successfully compete in the global economy. the administration didn't listen and neither did congress. let's look at an example of excess created in the temporary expansion of the t.a.a. program
that taxpayers are still on the hook for. according to a february 2011 study by senator coburn entitled "help wanted: how federal job training programs are failing workers." and i quote from the study that senator coburn brought to this body. "taxpayers may have a case of indigestion when they learn nearly two years after the stimulus was enacted, their money is paying lobstermen, shrimpers and blueberry farms $12,000 each to attend job training sessions on jobs that they're already trained to do. the stimulus reauthorized the trade adjustment assistance for farmers program administered by the u.s. department of agriculture, a program that provides subsidies to producers of raw agricultural commodities and fishermen so they can adjust to import competition. under the stimulus, t.a.a.
benefits are enhanced to focus more on employment retraining. the department of labor issued a report on the t.a.a. program which indicated that only, that approximately 50% of the t.a.a. training participants were actually he placed in new jobs. while we can happy for the 50% that used the training for new employment, a 50% success level is dismally low. our obligation should have been to reforeman and fix -- reform and fix the laws to the program. i'm a big supporter of america's community colleges. the best community college networks happen to be in my home state of arizona. it's been suggested that the t.a.a. for community colleges program which was vastly expanded in the stimulus bill has become nothing but a vehicle to funnel scarce tax dollars to community colleges around the country, whether they need the money or not.
no peformance reviews, no standards for graduation, and no oversight. so, in march 2010, the senate and house leadership together with the administration funded the t.a.a. for community colleges program $2 billion over four years. just last month conveniently right before the end of the fiscal year, the department of labor rolled out the money to individual community colleges and consortiums of community colleges. the money started flowing without regard to how well the community colleges did at graduating their students or whether there was sufficient t.a.a. need. several of the community colleges received grants of taxpayer funds while having extremely low graduation rates. shouldn't we ensure an institution can actually graduate its students before fudge money to it? for example, oklahoma city
community college received $2.7 million. this institution had a graduation rate of 11%. if there was any doubt the administration was using this money to funnel money to community colleges without regard to need or their ability to help dislocated workers receive training, let me just read from the department of labor grant announcement issued last week. quote -- "following is a list of the entities of each state that will be receiving funding. the department of labor's employment and training administration is continuing to work with these institutions to develop final peformance operating and spending plans." earlier this year the g.a.o. released a study entitled "multiple training and employment programs" providing information on colocating services and consolidating administrative structures could promote efficiencies. here's what the g.a.o. reported.
on federal employment and retraining programs, including trade adjustment assistance -- and i quote -- "based on our survey of agency officials, we determined that only 5 of the 47 programs have had impact studies that assess whether the program is responsible for improved employment outcomes. the five impact studies generally found that the effects of participation were not consistent across programs with only some demonstrating positive impacts that tended to be small, inconclusive or restricted to short-term impacts. so what are we doing? we're going to spend at least $1.3 billion, part of it on programs that clearly the government accountability office says that the, have not been productive in any way.
and that they are small, inconclusive or restricted to short-term impacts. there are a lot of questions about the t.a.a. program. does the t.a.a. program provide overly generous benefits to a narrow population? according to analysis from the heritage foundation based on statistics from bureau of labor statistics, in the third quarter of fiscal year 2009, only 1% of mass layoffs were the result of import competition of overseas relocation. is there evidence that t.a.a. benefits and training help increase participants' earnings? an analysis of professor carry reynolds of american university found -- quote -- "little evidence that it helps displaced workers find new well-paying employment opportunities. in fact, t.a.a. participants experienced a wage loss of 10%." the same study found in fiscal year 2007, the federal
government appropriated $885.1 million in new programs. this amount funding in training programs accounted for only 25%. in 2007, the office of management and budget rated the t.a.a. programs as -- quote -- "ineffective." the o.m.b. found that the t.a.a. program fails to use tax dollars effectively because, among other reasons, the program has failed to demonstrate the cost effectiveness of achieving its goals. let me close by reminding my colleagues how we got to our current predicament. it's mid-october of 2011. two and a half years since president obama took office and we're just now considering these important trade agreements that were finalized half a decade ago, all because of white house's insistence on making a temporary stimulus program, the dubious extension of t.a.a. into a permanent domestic spending
program. this is how george will summed it up, writing in "the washington post" on june 8, 2011, and i quote -- "president obama is sacrificing economic growth and job creation in order to placate organized labor. as the crisis of the welfare state deepens, he is trying to enlarge the entitlement system and exacerbate the entitlement mentality. on may 4, the administration announced that at last it was ready to proceed with congressional ratification of the agreements. on may 16, however, it announced it would not send them until congress expands an entitlement program favored by unions. since 1974, trade adjustment assistance has provided 104 and then 156 weeks of myriad financial aid, partly concurrent with the 99 weeks of unemployment compensation to people, including farmers and government workers and firms,
even whole communities that can more or less plausibly claim to have lost their jobs or been otherwise injured because of foreign competition. even if the injury is just the loss of unfair advantages conferred at the expense of other americans by government protectionists. this process should be appalling to the average american who is looking for an improving economy, not special favors to certain special interest groups. our national data has reached unsustainable levels. congress and the american people face truly painful choices. we have to cut our budget. at a time when some are considering enormous and dangerous cuts to our defense spending as a way to get our fiscal house in order, we shouldn'ting throwing more and more scarce money at a federal program that as the g.a.o. points out is duplicative and possibly ineffective. and, mr. president, there is guilt on both sides of the aisle for the extension of this program.
it has not had proper scrutiny. it has not had proper oversight. the studies that have been done have shown that it is practically useless or certainly not useful and ineffective, and now as a price for these free trade agreements which i strongly support we will be laying another $2 billion on the taxpayers of america, unfortunately. mr. president, i yield the floor. mr. brown: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from ohio. mr. brown: thank you, mr. president. i'd like to speak in opposition to these three pending free trade agreements. the bills look like they are about this size. these are -- these are the actual implementing of the three free trade agreements, but one of the bills, and not the largest one, the one in fact of the three countries we are passing -- we are probably today
passing trade agreements with, colombia -- colombia, south korea and panama, the smallest by far in terms of its economy is panama, and this is the agreement, this is the trade agreement with panama. now, i remember all these conservative talk radio people saying have you read the bill, have you read the bill, have you read the bill? every time it's a bill they don't agree with, they ask have you read the bill. this isn't just to eliminate the tariffs that we have with the republic of panama. if these agreements were about eliminating tariffs with labor standards -- and i know that the presiding officer from oregon shares that view about labor standards. if these agreements were about eliminating tariffs and labor standards, they would be about this big, mr. president. they wouldn't be anything like this. but these are chock-full of special interest deals. it's what this body always does. the north american free trade agreement with canada and mexico, the pntr with china,
different kind of situation but leading to even more problems, the central american free trade agreement with six countries in central america and the dominican republic. rules that help the drug companies, rules that help the insurance companies, special interest provisions that help the banks, special interest provisions that undermine public health and undermine safety. that's what these free trade agreements are about. and i get it, mr. president, i get it that this is greased, i get it that this will pass with overwhelming numbers, i get it that this white house is this much better than the last white house in pushing for these trade agreements. these are bush trade agreements, korea, colombia and in panama. president obama inherited them, but he doesn't get off the hook because he has improved these slightly. got a little bit of an improvement with korea, so a few more american cars can be sold into korea. nothing like the number of korean cars that can be sold in the united states because we didn't want to be that tough when we negotiated, so we just
made slight changes. this president made slight changes. i -- i have seen this for -- i was in the house for 14 years. my first term in the senate. i have seen this kind of game played by administration after administration. this is my -- technically my fourth administration i have -- i have worked with, third at some length, and i have seen this over and over and over again. mr. president, when i hear -- when these trade agreements come forward, every president says this is going to create tens of thousands of jobs. nafta was going to create 200,000 jobs. almost immediately, the bush administration -- first bush administration said. the clinton administration said yeah, that's right, it's going to create more or less 200,000 jobs immediately. do you know what it's created? it's created a loss of negative 600,000 jobs under the north american free trade agreement. you know, we gained some jobs, we lose some jobs, but the net is always lost jobs. how many times is the administration going to come forward and how many times are we going to believe them?
fool me once, shame on me. fool me twice, shame on you. fool me twice, shame on me. this body continues as the house of representatives does, they are a little smarter in the house. they don't pass these with quite the same numbers in the overwhelming margins, but they continue to do the same thing over and over and over again. the american public doesn't like these trade agreements. the american public in large numbers in poll after poll after poll, the american public doesn't like nafta, doesn't like cafta, doesn't like pntr with china. why do you think last night finally this body stood up? 63 members of the senate, almost 20 of them were republicans, voted to finally stand up on currency and try to create a level playing field in our trade with china. but we don't do it with these other trade agreements. the lobbying efforts on nafta, on cafta, on pntr with china, on the panama trade agreement, on the colombia trade agreement, on the korea trade agreement, the
lobbying is overwhelming. special interest groups line up because they are so excited about passing these free trade agreements. and in the end, we lose jobs every single time. when i came to the congress 20 years ago, we had a trade surplus with mexico, and if i recall a small trade deficit with canada. that means we sold more to mexico than we bought from them. we bought more from canada than we sold to them. today, it's tens of billions of dollars trade deficit we have trilaterally with those two countries. the china trade deficit, 10 years ago when china got into the world trade center because we passed pntr in part, that's part of the reason they got in. our trade deficit with china was something like $80 billion. today it's almost $300 billion. more than three times the trade deficit with china. so our answer is let's do more of it.
so china undercuts our manufacturing. nafta takes away american jobs. cafta cost us jobs. yet the geniuses around here, the people that -- and the meeting has been wonderful in this, opposing trade agreement after trade agreement because he gets it. the geniuses around this place in the white house, in the house leadership, in some of the senate leadership, senate leadership and far too many of my colleagues on my side of the aisle, the geniuses around here are saying let's pass more trade agreements because it's working. give me one other issue, mr. president, where people in this body en masse, in huge numbers say, you know, this trade policy isn't working so let's try more of it. and that's exactly what we have done. we continue to pass trade agreements that look a lot like nafta. we continue to pass trade agreements that get us in this situation that cost us jobs. now, mr. president, i'm for more trade. like most americans, i want to see a trade war with other
countries, but like most americans, i have a problem with many of the rules that govern our trade policy, because these aren't simple eliminate tariffs. this is a trade policy that time after time favors corporate or investors' interest among worker interest. and in some cases, mr. president, actually undermine our national security and undermine our national interests. when we see the kind of job loss that nafta caused and cafta caused and pntr cause and these trade agreements with panama and korea and colombia cause, we know that this is not good for our national interests. that's why i object to these free trade agreements. they are more of the same broken promises, the same promises about oh, yeah, it's going to create jobs. the same problem about oh, yeah, it's going to expand our markets. it may expand our markets a little bit. we may sell some more things, but we're buying a lot more things than these other companies, because the trade agreements simply aren't working. trade agreements are permanent.
they often handcuff congress and state legislatures from setting new priorities. north american free trade agreement. i have heard presidential candidates in campaigns say yeah, they would work to renegotiate or even repeal nafta. then they raise their right hand, get sworn in to be president of the united states, and they kind of forget they promised that. these trade agreements undermine buy america policy. how does that work? because when we pass trade agreements with our free trade agreements, our f.t.a.'s bilaterally or trilaterally with other countries, it weakens, it doesn't give the same standings to our buy america provisions. do you think countries around the world don't have buy whatever their country is? you don't think the chinese give special preference to buy china? you don't think other countries give special preference? we couldn't do that here because that would mean we aren't practicing free trade. mr. president, every country in the world practices free trade
according to their national interest, but what do we do in the united states of america, in the senate, the house, the white house? they practice trade according to some economic textbook that was printed before these pages sitting in front of me were even born, mr. president. they -- these trade agreements lack any meaningful way to withdraw if the promised benefits don't materialize. we pass these trade agreements in ohio communities from springfield to chilicothe to portsmouth to ashtabula to toledo. these ohio communities can't understand why they are so buffetted by these trade winds that so often undermine their ability to make a living. these trade agreements were originally negotiated by the bush administration. i don't blame president obama for that. but to the rest of the country, hearing the obama administration talk about these trade agreements sounds like a continuation of the incoherent approach to america's engagement in the global economy that we saw with the bush trade agenda.
many of us on this floor have criticized the bush trade policy. the obama trade policy, okay, i'm a democrat, he's a democrat. the obama trade policy is better than what it was under the bush trade agreement. the obama administration has made these three trade bills a little better -- at least korea little better than it was, a little better. the obama administration has actually enforced trade laws when the chinese cheat on tires, when they cheat on oil country tubular steel, when they cheat on glass, when they cheat on -- on aluminum, when they cheat -- not on glass, they cheat on paper. we have made some progress. there is a new steel mill in the mahoney valley at youngstown. in large part because president obama enforced trade rules, trade laws with the commerce department and the international trade commission. interesting, though, when the president went to youngstown to talk about the opening of the steel mill, he talked about the recovery act and the recovery act put some dollars in infrastructure around the steel
mill, but he negligented to talk about trade policy which he had enforced this trade policy for these agreements. that's all behind us. but, mr. president, these trade policies ignore the elephant in the room, which is our trade relationship with china. last night, as i said, the senate did the right thing on a strong bipartisan vote on chinese currency, but unfortunately opponents of -- some of the opponents of cracking down -- well, unfortunately, i guess. opponents of cracking down on china's currency manipulation are the same supporters of these trade agreements, and in both issues, respectfully they miss the point. people have heard the same promises from nafta and cafta and china pntr. businesses promise more jobs from increased exports. no one talks about the increased imports that pale in comparison. so when i used to hear president bush's, injure's predecessor bill clinton always talk about look how nafta is increasing
exports, increasing u.s. exports, and i hear president bush the second look how nafta and these agreements are increasing exports. well, they do increase exports but they increase imports so much faster. it was president bush who shaid said some years ago, president bush the first, he said for every billion dollars of trade, it translated into 13,000 jobs. i don't know if that number is correct, it's probably less for inflation of what a job is worth in dollars. but if a billions in trade surplus creates 13,000 jobs that means a billions in trade deficits costs us 13,000 jobs. you got to tell the whole story. like a sports reporter on the 11:00 news reading the baseball scores and saying well, the yankees scored seven runs tonight. well, that means maybe they won. turns out the indians scored nine so the yankees lost which
is a good outcome but the fact is when you're talking about trade, you don't just brag about exports, you got to look at what the value of the imports was, too, and the value of the imports was. we're not talking about that. no one -- no one likes to talk about the communities who are left cleaning up after a plant is abandoned. moved to somewhere else. no up with likes to talk about the families that are devastated when the plant cloa closes and they lose their jobs. nobody wants to talk about what happens to our national security when a steel mill closes down and the jobs go elsewhere. mr. president, the economy just each month to keep up must add at least 150,000 new jobs. just to keep up with population growth. 15 million unemployed in this country, or some have -- many have stopped -- 14 million unemployed, 15 million underemployed or stopped searching for work. what does korea and colombia, what do korea, colombia, and
panama trade agreements have to do with that? we did a great thing last night on -- on standing up on china, on currency. but then we're giving it away with trade agreements like this, which cost us jobs rather than increasing jobs. i don't get it. a good week, wasn't such a good week for international trade and for us -- for us creating jobs in this country. most people when they think about trade think about goods and tariffs. but these agreements aren't just about tariffs. if they were tariffs, just about tariffs as i said, these agreements would be relatively short. a simple declaration of tariff rates. instead, as i said, these agreements are hundreds and hundreds of pages on procurement rules and financial services and investor-state dispute resolution. what does all that mean? what it means is that a whole lot of corporate lobbyists lobbied the administration, lobbied the finance committee, lobbied the ways and means committee, the senate and the house committees that work on these things, and struck gold.
it means that these corporate lobbyists is had -- had their way in washington again, these corporate lobbyists never lose on these trade agreements, in the end, they always get -- almost always get their way. but it's so much and so many ways undermines our public interests and certainly undermines jobs. these are complex -- complex agreements, they don't have to be that complex. but then some of my colleagues say we're falling behind while brazil and korea and the european union sign trade deals. what they don't say is these aren't the same kind of agreements. these -- if these agreements were just about lowering tariffs in a reciprocal way, but they're not, not the u.s. giving away the store in return for a little access. if these agreements were just about tariffs as i said earlier and strong labor standards, probably have a voice vote would have passed them already. but these are not the same deals, these are not the same deals that brazil or the european union signs with korea. let plea explain that for a moment, mr. president.
the european union-korean agreement does not have investor-state dispute resolution. most countries have strong legal temperatures and the e.u. and korean negotiators decided they didn't need to create a new privileged process under the trade deal to resolve disputes. in other words, if korea has a food safety rule and the european union has a food safety rule they don't have to come into conflict because they don't have this dispute resolution that we do in our agreements. and what happens when it's -- when it's food safety or product safety, you know what happens? the country with the weaker rules wins. so what these trade agreements with the investor state provisions, the investor state provisions in these trade agreements, something the europeans and the brazilians didn't do with korea, with these investor state provisions it means we're weakening food safety laws, we're weakening consumer protection laws, we're weakening the kinds of sovereignty that i thought
people particularly conservatives in this body cared about. so an investor can challenge a law in korea or the u.s. under the special privileged process, outside the normal legal system, can have the effect of chilling nondiscriminatory safety rules. but having a special privileged system outside the normal legal process is exactly what some companies want in these trade deals. so in other words, if a company can't -- the company in the united states can't find a way to weaken -- can't -- if a company in this country is unsuccessful at lobbying this senate and the house of representatives and the president in weakening a consumer -- say a consumer protection measure, or in undermining a food safety rule, they've been unsuccessful at doing that directly here, through these trade agreements they're able to do that. if panama has weaker rules on investor protections, has weaker rules on financial consumer protection, they have
weaker rules on food safety laws, then through these trade agreements it gives these corporate interests a back door to weaken our trade -- to weaken our safety rules. and we fought -- we fight like crazy around here to have strong consumer protection, to have safe pharmaceutical rules, have good, strong pharmaceutical safety rules. we fight for those things but then we're going to allow these trade agreements to under -- to undermine that. these agreements affect investment dynamics, corporate decision making, how a company makes decisions in two years, no five years and ten years, yet -- so those are important long term for these countries yet congress has a few hours to debate the merits and vote up or down with no amendments. these agreements are permanent, across the world for decades to come. these agreements are hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of pages. and here we are fitting them into the workweek, voting up or
down, the vote tonight at 6:30. i don't hear -- i don't hear rush limbaugh, i don't hear "the washington post," i don't hear others, conservatives on the other side of the aisle say i can't believe you're jamming this through so fast. what they said on health care, which took months and months, they jammed this through in about 48 hours. but that's okay because it's a trade agreement. even though it's this long as a trade agreement, and nobody's read it and i'm sure, i'd be almost sure nobody, not one senator out of a hundred and maybe none in the 435 in the house of representatives that actually read this bill. this is the least consequential. this is the panama trade agreement. this isn't korea, much, much, much bigger. this isn't colombia, significantly bigger. yet we've decided that -- we've decided that it's okay to fit this because fast track, the way we do trade agreements has a whole special set of rules. nothing in my mind nothing that i know of in this body has this special set of rules that trade agreements get.
they have to be debated quickly, there's a time limit once they're sent up by the president, there is no hold allowed on a trade agreement, there's no filibuster allowed on the trade agreements, there's no 60-vote threshold. there's 60-vote thresholds on confirming a federal judge in toledo, ohio. there's a 60-vote judge on the under secretary of interior. no 60-vote threshold on a 2,000 -- i don't know how many pages this is, hundreds and hundreds of pages. agreements that will last forever with the republic of panama or with colombia or with korea? no 60-vote requirement there, no hold there, none of the rules of the senate that might slow this down. no, you know why? these are chock full of special interest provisions that every insurance and drug company and bank can get their way and have this in permanent law. no scandal there. nothing wrong with that. we'll do it on every other bill but not trade agreements, madam president. let me close with this: in --
two things then i want to close with this story, madam president. think about what fast track authority does. i want to pursue that with a little more detail about how we have these special rules in the united states senate only for trade agreements, nothing for else. when we -- first of all, we delegate with fast track authority in addition to having rules in the senate that are very different from other rules in order that these pass quickly, we also delegate authority to the executive branch, something we normally don't do. we allow the executive branch to set the substance of negotiations. we allow the executive branch to -- the executive branch is only required to notify congress 90 days before signing the agreement. the executive branch writes the implementing legislation for each trade pact without the committees of jurisdiction having markups. it means the process circumvents the normal committee process, once the executive branch has submitted the bill, we've got to vote for implementing bill within 90 days, the votes in
both chambers are highly privileged, normal congressional floor procedures are waived including unanimous consent. debates are limited, no amendments allowed, the results, congress is given little time in the present case the senate has four hours to debate each agreement. imagine -- imagine -- i just, i'm amazed. where are the conservatives in this country, that said don't give barack obama so much power? you just did when you passed this. why do we give -- because it's a trade agreement. the rules are always different. people in this body, they just you know, mitch mcconnell, the republican leader said his number-one goal in 2011 and 2012 is to make sure barack obama is a one-term president. don't give him any power, crit criticize him on everything. except you do whatever you want on this trade agreement. it's the hypocrisy here on trade is just beyond belief that i don't really get. let me close with this story, madam president, that i think may tell the story about the
importance of how we practice trade around the world. some years ago i was in -- i went to -- i representatived a car, flew into south texas, my own expense, rented a car and with two friends companiesed the mexican border, the texas-mexican border just to follow up on what had happened with nafta. this was a -- this was the mid late 1990's, wanted to see how nafta was working out for the u.s. and mexico along the border where there were so many manufacturing plant right at -- near the border there was an auto plant, a g.m. plant and this g.m. plant looked just like a general motors plant, not much different from lordstown near youngstown, not much different from the g.m. plant in mansfield which unfortunately is now closed, not much different from any other auto plant. it was modern, the floors were clean, great technology but one difference between the mexico g.m. plant and the -- and the
g.m. plant in mexico. one major difference. the plant in mexico didn't have a parking lot because their workers weren't paid enough to buy the cars they made. that may tell you something. then you go around the world. i didn't do this but go to malaysia and the workers in the moat rolea plant in malaysia -- are motorola plant in malaysia didn't get paid enough to buy the motorola electronics necessity made. go to central america, go to costa rica and the workers in the costa rica disney plant weren't making enough to buy the toys for the children that they made or go to china, almost anywhere in the world in these developing countries where we have trade agreements or where our trade policy has such impact where companies in the united states shut down, never in world history have companies in one country to the degree they do here, they shut down in the u.s., they move to china, they move to mexico, move to malaysia, to indonesia, then they sell their products back to
the united states. how do you build a country's wealth when you do that? and the reason they do is because the wealth that these workers in mexico that are building cars and malaysia that are making electronic equipment, in costa rica making disney toys, these workers don't share in the it wealth they create. they're not making enough for the jobs they do to buy the things they make. the beauty of our system, what's made the united states a prosperous country with a strong middle class is partly because of unions, partly because of democracy, is we as a nation, our workers typically make enough that they can buy the product, they earn enough they can buy the products they make. in other words, if the workers are creating wealth for the company, for their bosses, they get paid enough they get to extract enough of that celt wealth that they capital have a decent standard of living. not in memorial, not in china, not in malaysia, many of these countries that are part of this free trade agreement regimen.
let me take you around the world,to to a midwestern meat packing plant, madam president. this is the best part of the story. meat packing plant, most of these meat packing plants were union plants, little turnover, workers making good wages and they were safe by and large because the workers had demanded safety and the u.s. government had enforced it. what's happened the last 10 or 15 years in these meat packing plants is the unions' been busted, many of the workers are immigrants, immigrants who probably some of them aren't legal, but certainly these immigrants are there and they're not about to form a union, they don't speak english sometimes very well, not so certain they're going to be able to stay in this country. they're just not going to speak out. they're hardly going to talk back ever to their boss. never form a union. here's what happened in those. used to be in those plants and pardon me, madam president, if my numbers aren't precise here, it's been a while since i thought about this. used to be in these meat packing
plants, workers with would have their vinyl aprons and a sharp knife as they were processing beef. and these carcasses would be hung on big hooks and they these carcasses would slowly go by about 150 an hour, something like that. the workers would stand there and make their cut in the carcass as the carcasses went by slowly, 150 an hour. after they busted the union, they sped up the line. now,when it's 150 an hour, thats about the right speed that they can do this work. they almost doubled the speed of the carcasses as they went by. you know what happened? two things happened. workers had to huer rirks so they were more likely to hurt themselves, because they would aim the knife and because it was moving fast, they might end up glancing off the bone and cutting their leg. and the or thipg that happened is workers were much more likely to drop their knife and quickly pick them up, wipe them off on their apron and go back to work.
often thursday, the line sped up to 300 more or less an hour. on thursdays they slowed the line back. you know why? because thursdays were the day -- that was the day that these meatpacking companies were shipping those -- those carcasses, that processed meat to europe, and europe has higher food safety standard an the united states does. so these workers could work really fast if they drop a nigh and wiped it off. the meat might get a little contaminated. that's okay for u.s. food safety standard. but the europeans, who had strowrng food safety standard, said we're not buying your beef unless you slow the line down, make it saimplet that's what global sayings meant. it's not just mexican workers who can't buy the cars. it's not just workers in costa rica who can't buy the products. it underlines food safety it underlines drug safety. it undermines consumer protection.
these trade agreements are really special interest laws that really never see the light of day because of the peculiar rules of the united states senate. mr. president -- madam president, we should be ashamed of yo ourselves for passing thee agreementagreements, period, ang them under these provisions. i hope the administration learns something from this. i hope the administration decides on these trade agreements instead of being on the side of the largest corporations in the country and in the world which don't always look out for american trrks i hope the administration and members of the house and senate will decide they want to be on the side of american families, american communities, of american workers, of american small companies that make stuff and want to sell it all over the world. madam president, i yield the floor. i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. vacatm
call, madam president. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. wyden: madam president, international trade has always been controversial. that has been true since the days of the smoot-hawley effort. hawley, by the way, was an oregon congressman. and it continues to be true today. but it is so important to our country and so important to my home state that i made a special priority when i was given the honor of serving on the senate finance committee to queue up to be able to chair the subcommittee on international trade and global competitiveness, because i think it is so important that we continue here in the united states senate to keep pushing -- and there's going to be a lot of work to do after these
agreements have been voted on -- to get this right. but i want to describe today three aspects of this debate that are indisputable. in other words, we have lots of differences of opinion with respect to past agreements -- did they create jobs, they didn't create jobs, how did it affect various parts of the country. suffice it to say, reasonable people can differ with respect to these analyses. but i've been able, as the chair of this subcommittee, the senate finance subcommittee on trade and competitiveness, to dig deeply into this issue. and i believe there are three indisputable positions with respect to agreements we'll be voting on tonight that the senate ought to take into consideration, are at the core
of why i will be voting later this evening in favor of the grealts. the first position, mr. president, is there is a huge appetite all around the world for american goods and services. we are the gold standard. people around the world want to buy brand "u.s.a." they want to display it, they want to feature it. there's no question that we have an opportunity to feed this huge demand for american goods and services. i think we ought to go forward and tap this opportunity. and, madam chairwoman, the bottom line is if we don't take this opportunity to burnish this brand "america" and get our goods and services around the world, we can be very sure that
somebody else will be right there, and it is most likely to be china. that's point number one, madam president. i think it's indisputable. point number two is the challenge today in global markets is to capture the entire supply chain, madam president. that means everything from raw materials to component parts, to the finished good. and when i talk about this opportunity to capture the global supply chain, madam president, what it means to me in oregon -- and i thisty meanings the same thing in north carolina or north dakota -- i see our friend and colleague; he is the ranking member on the trade subcommittee; it's been a pleasure for me to work with him -- i think all over the united states, capturing this supply chain in the global economy
means the same thing. and that is, what we ought to do -- what i say at home in oregon, i'm sure my friend from south dakota says seact the same ching -- says exactly the same thing -- let us make it in oregon. let us add value to it in oregon and then let us ship it somewhere. it is a huge, huge opportunity we have in front of us, madam president, to tap this global supply chain where, once again, if we walk away from this kind of opportunity, we can be very certain that china will be right there to fill that roid. -- that void. the third issue involves the question of tariffs. and, madam president, i've heard people say, well, you know, these agreements have lots of other things in them, lots of other provisions that are
unrelated to tariffs. there's no question that that's accurate. but, at the end of the day, madam president, if our tariffs are, in effect, high -- when we want to ship our products around the world, when we get faced with very high tariffs from those we -- those markets that we want to get into and when countries ship to us, they have low tariffs, that is a very substantial advantage for our trading partners. as i highlighted yesterday in the senate finance committee, when we want to send our beef, oregon beef, to korea, we face a 40% tariff when we send it to korea. when they send their beef to us here in the united states, it's 4%. it's a tenfold tariff. madam president, i can go through a whole host of other
products. where wine from my state goes into korea it is a 15-fold difference. value-added wood products. i know the senator from north carolina cares an awful lot about wood products. well, the fact of the matter is if we want to send finished wood into korea, not the raw materials, we all know that what we want to do is add value to wood products, a key component of the pacific northwest economy, the southern economy. we want to add value to it. the fact is that the tariffs are four times as high for finished wood products in korea as they are here in the united states. now, these are indisputable facts, madam president. the question of the tariffs, the question of the global supply chain, and the brand u.s.a. opportunity that i've
described is this huge appetite for american goods and services that exists around the world that i think we'd be making a grave mistake to pass up. now, there are a lot of other issues associated with the votes that we're going to have to cast. i feel very strongly about the trade adjustment assistance program, madam president, because i want to make sure that in an economy that is constantly changing, our workers have a trampoline in effect to get the training and the skills to get into other areas. and people think that the trade adjustment assistance program is just about workers. madam president, this is a crucial program for employers, and that's why it has so much support among employers. employers need those talented
workers in order to meet the demands that they have to produce those quality goods and services. and by the way, madam president, one of the concerns business is continually citing and increasingly so is the mismatch that they often face where they need workers who have one sort of skills and people have been trained for something else. so with the trade adjustment assistance program, we can close that problem. we can do more to ensure that we get to our businesses workers with the kinds of skills that they need most and do something about this mismatch. so the idea that trade adjustment assistance is just for workers is really a mistake of fundamental -- fundamental understanding of what the program is about because it is a major plus to our employers.
so we're going to be zeroing in on these kinds of issues, worker issues. another one that we'll be looking at on the spee -- subcommittee involves issues relating to workers' rights under the u.s.-colombia free trade agreement. there our concern is violence, demonstrable, serious violence against colombian union members and the impunity that the perpetrators of such violence have enjoyed. now, this situation does seem to be getting a bit better. the santos administration understands the concern. there is an agreement with colombia on an action plan on labor that sets in motion a series of steps the colombian government is taking to provide workers with more adequate labor rights and protection from violence, but there is a lot more to do, madam president,
and i intend to conduct meaningful oversight over the labor situation in colombia and colombia's adherence to its commitments to the obama administration. as far as i'm concerned, that's going to start, madam president, just as soon as these agreements have been voted on and senators stabenow and senator cardin and senator many dez will be joining me and -- menendez will be joining me and we're going to work to make sure that the obama administration provides the congress with annual reports on the labor situation in colombia and the impact of the labor action plan that was reached by the obama administration and the santos administration. so, i've mentioned trade adjustment assistance. i've mentioned labor rights. and i want to really close in terms of future work that's related to this topic, madam president, by talking
about china. because certainly these trade agreements and to tap the opportunity, particularly in our country, for family wage employment through more exports is going to require tougher enforcement of our trade laws and particularly the obama administration getting serious about enforcing the laws on the books. we have had a series of investigations looking at cheating, cheating, madam president, i use that word specifically, i guess you could call it merchandise laundering. because some of our trading, you know, partners when they're found to violate the counterveiling duty laws instead of come into compliance, they just ship it through another country. and this is going to be an even
more important challenge, and we've got bipartisan legislation in order to stop the cheating, to strengthen the enforcement. it's going to be even more important to pass that effort to eliminate this kind of cheating because with respect to the agreement and korea, chinese suppliers have a long history of laundering their goods through korea in order to avoid u.s. trade laws. so the question of cheating, which we have documented in our hearings of the finance subcommittee on international trade, bipartisan bill, three democratic senators, three republican stories, we're ready to go, i was very pleased in the discussion in the finance committee, chairman baucus and senator hatch, the ranking minority member, said that this
effort to fight these practices, this kind of cheating which potentially could get worse unless you strengthen enforcement, chairman baucus and senator hatch said it was going to be a priority for them, and they wanted to make our anti-cheating legislation a must-pass effort before the end of this year. that they would attach it to a must-pass piece of legislation. i could go on, madam president, even today the administration is going forward with the anti-counterfitting agreement -- counterfeiting agreement without doing it with the approval of the united states congress. i think that's a mistake, a misreading of the law that the executive branch can just do it of its open accord. we're going to tackle that in the days ahead because those issues are important now, they will be even more important
given the expansions of trade and commerce when these agreements are approved. so there is a lot to do, but at the end of the day, madam president, if we miss one opportunity to do more in this country to market our brand around the world, and to make things here and grow things here and continually add value to them, dominate that supply chain which i think is going to be the overriding issue for global competitiveness in the days ahead. if we walk away from those issues, madam president, we're walking away from the opportunity for our people to get good-paying jobs in the private sector. in my home state, international trade is a very significant barometerrer of our economy with estimates being one out of seven jobs in oregon depends on international trade and the trade jobs pay better than do
the nontrade jobs. i don't want other countries to get those opportunities to get their goods and services, high-value goods and services that i'd like to see oregon workers and american workers have a chance to make here. madam president, i call them red, white, and blue jobs. that's the kind of jobs i want for this country, that i know the president and the senate wants, where we do allow american productivity and american ingenuity to continually innovate -- there are other issues. i know the president of the senate cares a great deal about tax policy, global tax policy, senator coats and i have a bipartisan tax reform proposal so we look forward to working with you on that issue. but today is a chance to expand our opportunity to get the american brand, the u.s.a. brand for goods and services in
markets that are growing, in markets that you can bet china wants, and madam president, i know this is controversial, has been, as i said, since the days of smoot-hawley and we oregonians sure know a little bit about that because of congressman hawley. but i think for our workers and the chance to get our goods and services into growing markets, growing markets that china wants, i hope my colleagues will support this effort and support the agreements. and with that, madam president, i yield the floor. i would note, madam president, the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
senator from south dakota. mr. thune: i ask unanimous consent that the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. thune: madam president, i, too, rise in strong support of the pending trade agreements with america's allies, colombia, south korea and panama. these agreements hold great promise for service providers,
manufacturers and american consumers and i would echo what my colleague from oregon, who does chair the subcommittee on trade in the finance committee has already said that these trade agreements position american businesses to capture more of that supply chain, to enable us to create jobs here at home, and to grow the economy, to generate economic activity out there that otherwise we wouldn't see happening. so at a time when we need to focus our measures on measures that will promote job creation, these agreements are exactly the type of legislation we ought to be considering. there is broad consensus these agreements will benefit our economy. the boom white house estimates that enactment of these three trade agreements will boost exports by at least $12 billion supporting over 70,000 american jobs. the business roundtable estimates passage of these trade agreements will support as many as 250,000 american jobs. and these are not only jobs that
large businesses but increasingly, at smaller companies that are accessing international markets. just as an example of that, more than 35,000 small business -- i should say small and mid-sized american businesses export to colombia, panama and south korea. and these firms now account for more than one-third of u.s. exports to these countries. passing these three trade agreements will provide export opportunities to american businesses of all sizes, creating good-paying jobs here at home. the benefits to u.s. agriculture of passing these agreements are especially compelling. these three agreements are estimated to represent $3 billion in new agricultural exports that will support 22,500 u.s. agricultural-related jobs. my state of south dakota is a good example. you look at the export potential for u.s. agriculture represented by these agreements according to the american farm bureau federation these agreements will add $52 million each year to south dakota's farm economy.
south dakota's projected to gain $22 million from increased beef exports, $25 million from increased exports of wheat, soybeans, and corn and $5 million from increased pork shipments each year. america's market has already largely open to imports from our trading partners. almost 99% of agricultural productproductsproducts from cod panama enter the united states duty-free. without trade agreements to ensure similar treatment for our export he is, american businesses will continue to face high tariff and nontariff barriers abroad. consider just one example and that's the market for agricultural products in korea, which is the world's 13th largest economy. korea's tariffs on imports agricultural goods average 54%, compared to an average of 9% tariff on their imports into the united states. so passage of the korea free trade agreement will level this playing field. think about that, madam
president. 54% for our exporters to get into the korean market, 9% tariff for their exports coming here. that is a huge discrepancy that will be rectified by passage of this agreement. korea's market for pork products in particular underscores how removing barriers can benefit u.s. farmers and ranchers. u.s. exports to south korea have increased 130% from january to july of this year because korea temporarily lifted its 25% duty on pork imports due to an outbreak of foot and mouth disease in korea. during this perked the korean market surpassed canada to become the third-largest export destination for u.s. pork producers after japan and mexico. korea's tariff on pork imports is expected to return but would be permanently eliminated by 2016 under the terms of the u.s. and south korea free trade agreement.
so that we know that when we eliminate barriers to u.s. exports, american producers will compete and win in the global marketplace. however, if we fail to act and continue to delay implementation of these agreements, the cost to our economy will also be substantial. the united states chamber of commerce study warns that failure to enact the three pending trade agreements could threaten as many as 380,000 american jobs and the loss of $40 billion in sales. the cost of inaction on trade is high because today we flif a global economy where american producers rely on access to foreign markets. consider that in 1960 exports accounted for only 3.6% of our entire g.d.p. today exports account for 12.5% of our entire g.d.p. exports of u.s. goods and services support over 10 million american jobs. when america stands still on trade, the rest of the world does not.
madam president, today there are more than 100 new free trade agreements that are currently under negotiation around the world. yet in the united states, we're only party to one of those negotiations, and that's the transpacific partnership. if we do not aggressively pursue new market opening agreements on behalf 6 american workers, we will see new export opportunities go to foreign businesses and foreign workers. unfortunately, that is exactly what we have experienced under the current administration. the three trade agreements that we're considering today were signed over four years ago, and this administration had more than two and a half years to submit them to congress for consideration but failed to do so. instead, the president chose to sit on these agreements and not send them to congress for nearly now 1,000 days. we cannot quantify precisely the cost of this unfortunate delay, but we know that it's put american exporters at a competitive disadvantage in the colombian, korean, and pan
manian markets. on july 1, the european union-china trade agreement went into effect. in just the first months after this took effect, e.u. exports jumped nearly 37% while u.s. exports to korea rose by only 3 pmplet let's be clear about what this means, madam president. korean consumers are choosing to buy german, french, and british cars, electronics, and agricultural products rather than american-made products because those european products now have a price advantage. this was entirely preventable, if we'd acted on the u.s.-korea trade agreement sooner. likewise, the canada-colombia agreement went into effect on august 15 of 24 year. this is resulting in an advantage for canadian goods such as construction equipment, aircraft and range of other industrial and agricultural products. colombia is now reporting that since the canada-colombia trade agreement took effect, there's been an 18.3% increase in
colombian imports of canadian wheat. much as with korea, u.s. business are finding themselves disadvantaged because the president waited so long before sending these agreements to congress. unfortunately, the nextgenive impact of the -- the negative impact of the colombian-canada agreement -- just a few years ago, american wheat producers dominated the market in colombia with a 75% market share as of 2008. today we are facing a situation where u.s. wheat producers are likely to be completely shut out of the colombian market if we don't afnlgt hopefully by passing these agreements today and by swiftly implementing the u.s.-colombian trade promotion agreement, our wheat producers will be able to recover much of their lost market shaimplet but they should never have been placed in this position to begin w in 2010 for the first time in the history of u.s.-colombian
trairksd the u.s. lost to argentina its position as colombia's number-one agricultural supplier. consider the story of three of the major crops that we grow in south dakota -- coy bean, corn, wheat. there's been a staggering decline of 50 percentage points in our market share. er u.s. corn sales to colombia fell from 3 million metric tons in 2007 to 700,000 metric tons in 2010. this is the high cost, madam president, of delay while our trading partners pursue new regional and bilateral trade agreements. there's also been the cost of duties that have been paid owns exports while these agreements waited. there's a u.s. company -- u.s. companies have paid more than $5 billion in tariffs to colombia and panama since the trade agreements with these nations were signed more than four years ago.
let's consider the cost of delay to just one american company, and that's caterpillar. a leading producer of large construction and mining equipment and a major u.s. exporter. caterpillar exports 92% of its american-made large mining trucks. cat pill lars large trucks -- large truck exports to colombia face a 15% duty, which adds about $300,000 to the cost of each of these trucks exported to colombia. i mean, how does that work, madam president? think about that. every truck that caterpillar send into the colombian market that's an additional $300,000 on top of the cost of that piece of equipment for the tariff that has to be paid. just imagine the advantage that caterpillar could have had for the last several years over its japanese and chinese competitors if the house of representatives that at the time was controlled by the democrats back in 2508 had not refused to consider the
colombia agreement when president bush submitted it or if the current administration had acted sooner. and that is just one example of countless others out there with american businesses. so i'm glad we're here today and i expect all three trade agreements to pass with what i hope is broad, bipartisan support. i hope we also have learned an important lesson. we cannot afford to delay when it comes to international competition and trade. i hope the white house has learned an important lesson as well. rather than submitting to congress divisive matters where there is fundamental disagreements such as new tax increases, this administration should identify measures such as these trade bills that will spur our economy and where there is broad bipartisan agreement. the president sent his american jobs act to congress exactly a month ago today. yet we only just last night voted on whether we should consider this bill. a vote that did not get a single republican and it didn't get every democrat vote either.
contrast that approach with these free trade agreements which were submitted to consequently by the president just nine days ago. within about a week and a half, these trade agreements will have passed the relevant committees in the house and the senate with large bipartisan votes and will be on the president's desk awaiting his signature. clearly reaching across the aisle on measures where both parties can find agreement is a much more effective approach. and so i would urge my colleagues to support these job-creating trade bills based upon their merits. i would also urge my colleagues to support these bills to send a message that when this administration is willing to send us commonsense, pro-growth legislation, we are ready and willing to pass it. we can only hope that our votes today on these trade agreements will set that precedent. so, madam president, i look forward to voting for these long overdue agreements on behalf of american businesses and consumers, and i look forward hopefully to being able to act on what are truly pro-growth job
measures in the coming weeks and months. we have an economy that continues to struggle with over 9% unemployment. we continue to see month after month, a lot of americans who are without jobs, and this is one example of something that we can do to address that concern, but there are lots of other things out there that we could be doing as well, madam president, if we're willing to identify those things on which there is agreement and those types of policies that actually do create jobs, that are about getting americans back to work not about making some sort of a political statement. i hope that will be -- this will set a pattern and a trend that will be replicated in the future and that we can do some things that are really good for the american comid and for american jobs. madam president, i yield the floor. a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from missouri. a senator: i thank you for the recognize nicks and i want to join with my good friend from
south dakota and the comments he made about the disadvantage we create the for ourselves by not moving forward with these trade agreements long ago. but we are going to move forward today. jump-starting america's economy is going to require bipartisanship. if we're going to compete with a global economy, it means we're all going to have to work together to help create economic opportunities for americans who are looking for work, to create those private-sector jobs that are the difference in a prosperous economy, an economy that's struggling. mr. blunt: last night the notion open debate on the president's so-called jobs bill was amend by his own party and was defeated then by a bipartisan vote here in the senate. that's not the kind of bipartisanship we need. we need bipartisanship moving forward, not bipartisanship walking away. the bill was defeated because it doesn't make economic sense, as the president said in august of 2009, to raise taxes on job
creators and in fact the administration by its own accounting says that roughly 80% of the people who would be impacted by the surtax imposed by the bill that was set aside last night would be defined as businesses, the very businesses that need to create jobs in an economy where that should be the number-one priority. the president's first $800 billion stimulus plan failed to stimulate. it didn't really crest the private-sector -- it didn't really create the private-sector jobs we need and my view was that it was more of the same. today isn't mofort same. today is a bipartisan opportunity to move forward with a bipartisan bill and to help jump-start our economy. if there's low-hanging fruit in job creation, it is exporting products to markets that want to buy our products. and this is not about labor conditions in colombia or whatever might happen in korea
or panama. this is about products that american workers make and whether they can get into those markets or not. madam president, i'd say one other time that for well over a decade now, colombian products all come into our country without a tariff under something called the andean free trade agreement. well, so this can't be about colombian labor. must be be about american labor and what can we do for american workers? we can open up markets for american products, and that's what we're going to do today for, as i hope we move to agree to these trade bills. these trade agreements would mean an additional $2.5 billion per year in agricultural exports. every $1 billion worth of ag exports means an estimated 8,000 new jobs. in missouri, the trade-related jobs grew by more than three times faster than other
employment from 2004 to 2008. i recently asked missourians on facebook and twitter to share some of their personal stories about have they -- how they thought these trade agreements would impact their lives. glenn coke, a full-time farmer from aroar are, missouri, said "agriculture is not drawing young people to stay on the farm because it's difficult to make land payments based on what little we get for the products we produce versus the inputs and this habit case now for generations." glenn called on dong help farmers by creating more demand for our products, if we're going to get young people to stay and take over the famplet madam far. their parents and grand parents have produced food for much of the world today. glenn coke's generation can continue to do the same. another farmer told me that